Waltham, Mass. – March 6, 2012 – InnoCentive, Inc., the pioneer in open innovation and crowdsourcing, and the Sandler-Kenner Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer today announced the launch of a Challenge seeking new approaches for diagnosing pancreatic cancer in its early stages, when the likelihood of patient survival is highest.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death across the globe, with average survival rates of one to five years. Tumors of the pancreas, located deep in the abdomen, grow and spread unchecked until symptoms appear which tends to happen very late in the disease progression. Once symptoms materialize, prompting patients to seek treatment, it is often too late for a cure. Tests currently available for effective early detection of pancreatic cancer are limited. Most early stage pancreatic cancers are discovered when a patient seeks treatment for an unrelated illness requiring closer examination of the abdomen.
The Sandler-Kenner Foundation was founded by radiation oncologist Dr. Gregory Echt and his wife Susan in the memory of his two dear friends, Michael Sandler and Peter Kenner, who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. The Sandler-Kenner Foundation has tasked InnoCentive’s Global Solver Community, which reaches millions of diverse and creative problem Solvers, with finding a new approach for detecting pancreatic cancer as early as stage 1 of the disease.
“As a cancer specialist, I have been frustrated by the current limitations in detecting and diagnosing pancreatic cancer at a treatable stage,” said Dr. Gregory Echt, founder of the Sandler-Kenner Foundation. “This foundation was formed to provide support for research in early detection and to improve survivability, and the InnoCentive Challenge is an exciting next step for us in that goal.”
Winning Solvers will split an award pool of $10,000, with at least one Solver receiving a minimum of $5,000. In addition, the winning solution will be featured at the upcoming 10th annual Simon Kramer Institute of Therapeutic Oncology symposium in New Philadelphia, Penn.
“Throughout InnoCentive’s history, we’ve been involved in many Challenges seeking medical breakthroughs in unexpected places,” said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive. “Finding new approaches for early cancer diagnosis is a slam-dunk for our InnoCentive, our unique Challenge methodology, and our Global Solver Community. We are grateful to the Sandler-Kenner Foundation for giving us the opportunity to work on such an important problem.”
About The Sandler-Kenner Foundation
The Sandler-Kenner Foundation is committed to supporting advances in early detection and diagnosis of pancreatic cancer through raising awareness of adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. The foundation focuses on funding research to aid in the development of early identification tools that are highly sensitive, cost effective, and easily implemented by medical practitioners. You can make a difference by working together with the Sandler-Kenner Foundation. For more information please visit: www.HelpFightPancreaticCancer.org
InnoCentive is the open innovation and crowdsourcing pioneer that enables organizations to solve their key problems by connecting them to diverse sources of innovation including employees, customers, partners, and the world’s largest problem solving marketplace. InnoCentive’s proven Challenge Driven Innovation methodology, network of millions of problem Solvers, and cloud-based technology platform combine to fundamentally transform the economics of innovation and R&D through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. Leading commercial, government, and nonprofit organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Eli Lilly & Company, Life Technologies, NASA, Nature Publishing Group, Popular Science, Procter & Gamble, Roche, Rockefeller Foundation, and The Economist partner with InnoCentive to solve problems and innovate faster, more cost effectively, and with less risk than ever before.