Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Care

Treating Difficult Cancers

No pancreatic cancer is the same and a diagnosis affects each person differently. Developing an effective treatment plan requires input from a variety of specialists.

At UPMC CancerCenter, your pancreatic cancer team is comprised of specialists who review your specific situation and work together to determine the most appropriate treatment plan, tailored to you.

Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Care at UPMC CancerCenter brings together experts in:

Conditions We Treat

The Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Care Center has particular expertise in the treatment of cancers of the distal esophagus, stomach, pancreas, bile ducts, as well as the duodenum and small intestine, including:

  • Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas
  • Ampullary and bile duct cancer
  • Cysts and cystic neoplasms
  • Duodenal polyps and cancers
  • Locally-advanced pancreatic cancer
  • Metastatic pancreatic cancer
  • Neuroendocrine tumors (islet cell tumors)


Comprehensive treatment planning

The Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Care Center brings together a multidisciplinary team of leading experts in surgical oncology, gastroenterology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, nutrition, pain, and palliative care. Treatment strategies are developed in tandem with referring physicians, and often involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of treatments and clinical trials when appropriate.

Diagnostic and screening services

The Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Care Center offers patients and their families genetic counseling and advanced diagnostic testing, including endoscopic ultrasound and innovative clinical trials that are investigating the newest technologies for detecting pancreatic disease.

Surgical services

Surgery is the only known treatment for pancreatic cancer that has a definite, positive impact on survival of this disease. Our surgeons have extensive experience in performing a variety of advanced pancreatic surgical techniques, including:

  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Esophagogastrectomy
  • Intraoperative ultrasound
  • Laparoscopic pancreatectomy
  • Pancreas-sparing tumor resections
  • Portal vein resection and reconstruction
  • Pylorus preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple)
  • Small bowel resection
  • Total gastrectomy

Medical oncology services

Medical oncologists specializing in pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers offer a full range of chemotherapy and biologic targeted therapies for all types and stages of cancer, and access to the latest clinical trials through our collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI).

When appropriate, pancreatic cancer patients are placed on a UPMC CancerCenter Pathway, a disease-specific treatment strategy developed by UPMC CancerCenter physicians to ensure that all patients receive the same evidence-based care. Each pathway combines innovative and promising clinical trial options with the best standard of care therapies. Ongoing review by the clinical team ensures that each pathway remains to be the best and most effective treatment option available.

Radiation therapy

Patients have access to the largest variety of advanced radiation planning and delivery systems available in western Pennsylvania.

Supportive services

  • Palliative care
  • Social work

What to Expect

If you are newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a nurse coordinator will contact you and serve as your liaison to your cancer team.

Your nurse coordinator will schedule you to be seen by members of your cancer team at Hillman Cancer Center or the Digestive Disorders Center at UPMC Presbyterian in a concentrated period - sometimes within the same day.

Following these appointments, your cancer team will meet to review your case to determine the best options for treating your pancreatic cancer.

Our Experts

The Pancreatic Cancer Specialty Care Center’s multidisciplinary team has extensive experience in treating pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers.


Medical oncologists


Radiation oncologists