Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Options

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center offers a complete spectrum of care for pancreatic cancer.

Our surgical, radiation, and medical oncologists work as a team to find the best mix of therapeutic approaches for you. This includes the chance to take part in clinical trials of cancer treatments you might not find elsewhere.

Our extensive experience is the foundation of a broad knowledge base that provides insight into each person’s unique situation.

Every type of pancreatic cancer treatment — traditional and novel — is within our scope of expertise.

Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer

Surgery is often the most effective treatment for pancreatic cancers.

Our surgical oncologists are experts in minimally invasive and robotic techniques to remove cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign) pancreatic tumors.

Our team includes pioneers in improving and performing the robotically assisted pancreaticoduodenectomy, or Whipple procedure. Only a few centers in the United States offer this minimally invasive technique, and UPMC is one of them.

Your surgeon will discuss your options with you after a thorough review of your diagnosis.

Pancreatic cancer surgery often goes hand-in-hand with radiation or medical oncology to increase treatment benefits.

Radiation Treatment Options for Pancreatic Cancer

Radiation oncology is best suited for treating exocrine pancreatic cancers.

Radiation treatment is painless. Each type of radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells.

Usually, your care team will advise radiation before your surgical procedure to reduce delays in treatment. Sometimes, radiation therapy is appropriate after surgery as well.

Often, the team will pair radiation oncology with medical cancer treatment.

Medical Oncology Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer

Medical oncology for pancreatic cancer involves the use of:

  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Gene therapy
  • Biologic therapy
  • Regional perfusion

Side effects vary with the type of treatment.

Most times, you will have medical oncology treatment along with surgery or radiation.

Support Services for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

In addition to these approaches, we offer a range of services that can make you more comfortable and your treatments more effective.

Our support network includes:

Social workers are also part of the pancreatic cancer care team.

They can help you and your loved ones overcome any treatment barriers or other issues by providing access to:

  • Community resources
  • Transportation services
  • Other practical assistance

Contact Us About Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Options

To learn more about pancreatic cancer care, contact UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at 412-647-2811.

Doctors and nurses talking at a conference table

Pancreatic Specialty Care

Our multidisciplinary team of experts at Pancreatic Specialty Care care for patients who have an advanced form of cancer or metastatic cancer, or those who want a second opinion.

Learn more about Pancreatic Specialty Care.