Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

Rapid and aggressive spread. Resistance to standard chemotherapy. A tendency to recur. All these traits make pancreatic cancer one of the most difficult-to-manage of the GI malignancies. At Temple, our multidisciplinary GI Oncology team is highly experienced in treating patients at all stages of this complex disease. After extensive testing and tumor analysis, the patient's personalized treatment plan is mapped out at a GI Tumor Board meeting with specialists from gastroenterology, surgery, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology and medical oncology.

Our skilled surgeons take an aggressive approach to pancreatic cancer, even for cases deemed borderline resectable. Surgery is often combined with chemotherapy or radiation for maximum effect. When surgery is not an option, our clinical team employs custom protocols with chemo- and radio-therapy plus supportive measures to slow tumor growth or spread.

Diagnostic and treatment options at Temple include:

  • High-resolution CT scans, MRI, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) with fine needle aspiration (FNA) to definitively identify and stage cancer
  • EUS/FNA of pancreatic cysts even as small as 1 cm to gauge malignant potential
  • The newest and most promising chemotherapy drug combinations
  • Advanced radiation therapy technology, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Surgeons experienced in performing the Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy), major vessel reconstruction, and distal pancreatectomy
  • EUS with fine needle injection (FNI) for pain control via celiac plexus block
  • Biliary bypass surgery and endoscopic stenting of the bile duct

Temple Pancreatic Cancer Team

Abdominal Organ Transplant Surgery
Andreas Karachristos, MD, PhD

Larry Miller, MD

Medical Oncology
Aruna Padmanabhan, MD

Oncologic Surgery
John Daly, MD, FACS

Case Study from the Temple Digestive Disease Center

Precise Imaging Allows Excision of Early Pancreatic Cancer

Genevieve M., 72, was referred to a Temple gastroenterologist by a community cardiologist who was concerned about her unexplained weight loss. Following an unrevealing colonoscopy and endoscopy, a CT scan revealed a 4.3 x 4.4 cm mass on the head of the pancr eas with multiple dilated pancreatic ducts. Endoscopic ultrasound and fine needle aspiration of the cyst on the pancreas revealed atypical cells.

The patient underwent a Whipple procedure, with negative margins and no positive lymph nodes. Pathology revealed intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm with moderate-to-severe dysplasia involving the main pancreatic duct. Following the successful surgery, Genevieve is feeling healthy and is back to work full time.

For Referrals to the Pancreatic Cancer Program

Physician to Physician Referrals: 215-707-5555