Aretha Franklin’s estate funding pancreatic cancer research

Aretha Franklin performing at the Mandela Day Concert in Radio City, New York, in July 2009.

Aretha Franklin’s estate is funding new research into pancreatic cancer. 

The late soul legend died in August 2018 at the age of 76 after a battle with a neuroendocrine tumour (NET) on the pancreas, which occurs in only seven per cent of pancreatic cancer cases, and her estate has held a joint benefit with Detroit’s Women’s Informal Network to raise money for the Boston-based Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF). 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Sabrina Owens, Aretha Franklin’s niece, said in a statement: “The Aretha Franklin Family is honoured to partner with the NETRF to help raise funding for education and research of this devastating disease that takes our loved ones much too soon.

“The Aretha Franklin Family is honoured to partner with the NETRF to help raise funding for education and research of this devastating disease.”

— Sabrina Owens, Aretha Franklin’s niece

“We encourage her friends, fans, and supporters to consider contributing to this cause, until such time as we can eradicate NETs. We believe this is possible.”

Elyse Gellerman, chief executive officer of NETRF, added: “A lot of the work we fund is basic science in the laboratory, learning why these tumours grow and spread. 

“We don’t know all the answers about that. Researchers are trying to understand these tumours at a cellular level and – with some of the treatments available – why some patients respond and others do not. I know the neuroendocrine tumours community was frustrated when the cause of Aretha Franklin’s death wasn’t correctly reported.”