*Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System Cancer Care, treats all types of cancer with novel therapies, cutting-edge technology, and unfailing compassion. The Cancer Center houses over 50 board-certified, top-ranked cancer specialty physicians – many from leading academic medical centers – featuring the largest number of experienced, fellowship-trained, cancer surgeons in New Jersey. Morristown Medical Center was also recently designated a National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) site of the Atlantic Health Cancer Consortium (AHCC).  As New Jersey’s first and only NCORP, this consortium will help develop and implement NCI cancer prevention, screening, care delivery, and treatment studies with leading healthcare systems across the state.


New Research Brings New Hope to Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, with a five-year survival rate of just 9.3 percent. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 56,770 new pancreatic cancer cases will be diagnosed across the U.S. in 2019, with 45,750 patients succumbing to the disease within the same year. In New Jersey, pancreatic cancer will take the lives of 1,290 residents this year, including many from Morris County.


But hope is on the horizon. Innovative research is underway at Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, spearheaded by nationally renowned gastroenterologic (GI) cancer researcher Angela Alistar, MD, medical director of GI medical oncology at Morristown Medical Center and Atlantic Health System Cancer Care.


Dr. Alistar is a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in translational research in GI cancers, especially pancreatic cancer. One of her most notable studies investigated a new anticancer drug called CPI-613, which selectively targets a process in cell multiplication. Results from Dr. Alistar‘s early phase trial of CPI-613 in combination with FDA-approved FOLFIRINOX combination chemotherapy suggests improved response rate and survival in pancreatic cancer patients, and may herald a new form of cancer therapy. This year, Dr. Alistar has initiated several clinical trials further examining the potential of this new drug in combination with chemotherapy, including some clinical trials only available at Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center.


“This study gives us reason for hope,” said Dr. Alistar. “Patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer have a very low survival rate, and the toxicity of current therapies limits their usefulness, underscoring the desperate need for safer, more effective treatments. That is why I have dedicated my career to helping find effective therapies for pancreatic and other difficult-to-treat GI cancers.”  


Further information about Dr. Alistar’s pancreatic cancer research is available by calling the pancreatic cancer research office of the Atlantic Health System Cancer Care at (973) 971-6608, or by visiting atlantichealth.org/pancreas.

Background on Dr. Alistaralistar

*Provided by the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center