Often considered one of the deadliest forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer has a survival rate of less than 10 percent at the five-year mark. With no routine screening procedure, few early stage symptoms and most cases only being diagnosed after they’ve become advanced, this disease claims more than 41,000 American lives each year. A new clinical trial push is under way that is hoped to pave the way for much-needed advances in the treatment of this form of the disease.

The trail is actually being structured with a number of sub-studies included. Each sub-study will investigate different treatment options. The idea is to flip the typical clinical trial on its head. Rather than search for ideal patients to include in a trail, researchers are looking at designing the right clinical trial for each patient enrolled in the study. Known as the Precision Promise Clinical Trial, the studies will take place at 12 sites across the United States. Focusing on personalized medicine, the goal is to gather a great deal of data related to different treatment options and their impacts on patients and outcomes.

Pancreatic cancer is expected to impact more than 53,000 Americans this year alone. Difficult to detect and treat, the disease has one of the lowest survival rates of all forms of cancer. Researchers are hoping that patient-targeted treatments may hold the key to improving those numbers.

Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, but it does have some risk factors people should be aware of. People with a family history of the disease, those with chronic pancreatitis and diabetics are at higher risk for developing pancreatic cancer. There is no routine screening exam available for the general population, but people at especially high risk will find screening options are available to them. People who are concerned about pancreatic cancer are urged to talk to their doctors.