surgeons at work

Pancreatic Cancer

UVA Cancer Center is an international leader in detecting and treating pancreatic cancer. We offer a comprehensive program that includes early detection measures, advanced treatment options and coordinated care for patients with the disease.

A multidisciplinary team of radiologists, pancreatic cancer surgeons and medical oncologists evaluates, performs complex diagnostic procedures and treats patients with the latest in surgical and medical techniques.

At UVA, patients get the collective experience of this highly skilled team which is why our outcomes are among the best in the nation, specifically for the Whipple procedure, the most common operation for pancreatic cancer.

Once you have pancreatic cancer, surgery is the only cure. But it's only an option for 10-15% of patients. Surgery for pancreatic cancer at UVA includes:

  • The Whipple procedure (or pancreaticoduodenectomy), the most common operation for pancreatic cancer
  • Distal pancreatectomy (removal of the body and tail of the pancreas) and splenectomy (removal of the spleen)
  • Total pancreatectomy, or removal of the pancreas (only used in a very small number of patients)
  • Laparoscopic second open surgery

Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Clinic

Our Pancreatic Surgery Clinic offers the most advanced surgical options for patients at all stages of disease.

At this clinic, we provide surgical treatment for painful or potentially cancer-causing cysts.

Our surgeons, nurse practitioners, gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and genetic counselors all have specialized training to detect and treat pancreatic diseases. They will work together to ensure patients receive the best care and most advanced screening and surgical options available.

    Pancreatic Surgery Clinic
    Emily Couric Cancer Center exterior

    UVA's Pancreatic Surgery Clinic is among the best in the country in terms of patient outcomes. For patients needing surgery, we offer the Whipple procedure, distal pancreatectomy, total pancreatectomy and minimally invasive surgical techniques.

    Visit the Pancreatic Cancer Clinic
    Pancreatic Cyst Clinic
    UVA Pancreatic Cancer Physicians discussing image

    UVA's Pancreatic Cyst Clinic is one of the first programs in the country dedicated to the detection and treatment of pancreatic cysts. Though most of these cysts are benign, their presence can increase a patient’s risk for developing cancer.

    Visit the Pancreatic Cyst Clinic
    High-Risk Clinic
    UVA Pancreatic Cancer Physician pointing at image

    Early detection of pancreatic cancer can mean a greater chance of survival. Through the High-Risk Pancreatic Cancer Clinic, UVA has made great strides in pancreatic cancer screening, establishing evidence-based screening protocols and developing a biomarker for pancreatic cancer.

    Visit the High-Risk Clinic

    Pancreatic Cancer Research

    Pancreatic cancer symptoms usually don't show up until the disease has spread to other parts of the body. By then, it's too late for most treatments. We're researching ways to catch pancreatic cancer early and give patients the best chance for survival.

    • Kimberly Kelly, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering, is leading research for a test that could identify precancerous pancreatic cells.
    • Kelly, microbiologist Tom Parsons and surgeon Todd Bauer, MD, have discovered a biomarker, or indicator, in the blood that's a sign of cancer cells in more than 90 percent of all pancreatic tumors.