Pancreatic cancer develops when cells in the pancreas begin to grow uncontrollably. There are two types of pancreatic cancer tumors, exocrine and endocrine. Exocrine tumors are more common, while endocrine tumors are rare and make up less than 5% of pancreatic cancer.
Your pancreas is small, only about six inches long, but it plays a vital role in your digestive system, producing insulin to help regulate your blood sugar level and aiding in breaking down the foods you eat.
The pancreas is located deep within the body, making it difficult to detect early tumors during a routine physical exam. There are no reliable screening options for pancreatic cancer, so it tends to be diagnosed at later stages when cancer has grown and spread.
Our team can treat pancreatic cancer effectively with surgery in its early stages. However, surgery can still help relieve pain, restore function, and improve survival rates for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
As a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, City of Hope’s pancreatic cancer program is uniquely positioned to provide personalized and comprehensive treatment plans, along with access to groundbreaking clinical trials.
Our pancreatic cancer research offers our patients access to promising therapies, surgical approaches and other clinical trials to improve survival rates and enhance the quality of life. For example, we are investigating PEGPH20, a drug that may disrupt pancreatic cancer cells' ability to fight off chemotherapy by creating a barrier around tumors.
When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your family cope with each challenge you come across in your pancreatic cancer journey.
Located in Southern California, City of Hope has one of the most experienced pancreatic cancer programs in the United States. For more than a decade, U.S. News & World Report has named City of Hope one of the top cancer hospitals in America.
Our Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Program Highlights:
Minimally invasive, robotically assisted surgery and procedures, such as ablation and embolization
Ultra-precise radiation therapy, including helical TomoTherapy
Unique chemotherapy and targeted therapy regimens
Targeted drug combinations for greater effectiveness and fewer side effects
Pioneering drug research and clinical trials
Palliative treatments to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life
City of Hope is one of the few facilities designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.
Leslie Botnick, M.D., now a radiation oncologist with City of Hope, helped bring about the significant advance of treating many breast cancer patients with lumpectomy plus radiation, instead of mastectomy.
City of Hope's Yuman Fong is an internationally recognized expert in cancer of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts. He has led the research effort to employ genetically modified viruses to destroy cancer cells.