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Pancreatic Cancer

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For help in diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer, patients from across the country turn to Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia. The Jefferson team offers innovative surgical, endoscopic, oncologic and other treatments that, in some cases, can cure pancreatic cancer – a diagnosis that was once considered fatal.

Patients choose Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for several reasons: the high volume of pancreatic and related surgeries performed; a highly skilled and experienced group of gastroenterologists; experienced clinical staff; leading-edge research; and a patient-centric approach to care delivery.

Dedicated to Researching, Diagnosing and Treating Pancreatic Cancer

If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the combined expertise of specialists of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology's Pancreaticobiliary Program and our Pancreas, Biliary and Related Cancer Center will continually evaluate you throughout the entire course of treatment, bringing together the expertise of Jefferson surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, pharmacologists, gastroenterologists, pain management specialists, palliative care specialists and genetics researchers.

Our Pancreas, Biliary and Related Cancer Center is part of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia, which is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center. The NCI applies this special designation only to regional referral centers with a high level of clinical services and participation in national clinical trials. This special status as a national center testifies to the work of our basic and clinical scientists and physician researchers, who are on the forefront of advances against cancer.

Experience with Treating Pancreatic Cancer Matters

Our surgeons have extensive experience performing pancreatic cancer surgeries and clinical studies have shown improved outcomes for surgeries performed at high-volume centers such as Jefferson. In a typical year, our surgeons perform about 140 pancreatic resections, including more than 100 pancreaticoduodenectomies – commonly referred to as Whipple procedures – and dozens of distal and central pancreatectomies.

Whenever possible, Jefferson surgeons use an innovative procedure called a mini-Whipple that is as effective as the standard procedure while enabling the preservation of the entire stomach and pylorus, and reducing the length of hospital stays and complications.

Advancing Pancreatic Cancer Screenings and Treatment Through Research

Physicians and scientists at the Pancreas, Biliary and Related Cancer Center are also working to improve the early detection of pancreatic cancer and develop more effective screening procedures. We are leading investigations into genetic, environmental and lifestyle links to pancreatic and related cancers, including a novel approach to individualized therapy based on molecular genetic features of tumors.

Our researchers are performing breakthrough studies that are advancing the understanding of the basic biology of pancreatic and related cancers and the molecular mechanisms that underlie the disease process. Our physicians are translating these discoveries into new approaches to patient care.

Pancreatic Cancer Support for You and Your Family

Additionally, we will provide you and your family a support network that includes specially trained nurses, educators, fellow patients and cancer survivors. Among the wide variety of support programs offered at Jefferson is our Buddy Program, which matches cancer patients with trained volunteer cancer survivors who have been through treatment themselves. These volunteers provide one-on-one support either over the telephone or on-site in the waiting area at the Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy/Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

You can also access services to meet your emotional and psychological needs during your course of treatment through the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine.