This Web site is the culmination of a vast amount of knowledge, experience, and care compiled by the experts in pancreatic disease at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The content in this site represents over 21 years of cutting-edge treatment and research performed at this institution. The Johns Hopkins Hospital was ranked as the overall best hospital in the United States in 2011 by U.S. News and World Report.
We encourage you to contact our 28 doctors who have dedicated their careers to fighting pancreas cancer. These 28 doctors, including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists, and a geneticist, are supported by an even larger group of scientists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. They are highly experienced at taking care of patients with pancreatic diseases because of the large numbers of patients that visit our institution from all over the world. Many studies, especially those involving surgical patients, have linked the outcome of therapy for a particular disease to the volume of patients treated for that disease. These studies have demonstrated that high volume centers have the best outcomes with the lowest rates of complications following treatment.
In 2008, more than 240 Whipple procedures (pancreaticoduodenectomies) were performed at Johns Hopkins which is an operation used to remove cancers and other diseases involving the head of the pancreas. This is more than any other center in the United States. We have performed over 3,000 Whipple operations over the past 25 years.
When you access us through one of our coordinators, she will try to determine how you can most successfully and efficiently be treated. Depending on the imaging and other tests that you have already had, we may elect to perform further diagnostic testing at this institution. We often perform a three-dimensional CT scan dedicated to the pancreas on a state-of-the-art 64-detector scanner which gives great detail. These images allow the treating team to visualize the pancreas and the nearby blood vessels and structures in fine detail to help plan further therapy. Sometimes, patients benefit from our gastroenterologists performing an endoscopic ultrasound examination of the pancreas during which an ultrasound probe (similar to a sonar on a submarine) is placed into the stomach to visualize the pancreas.
If you are diagnosed with or are suspected of having pancreas cancer, it is important to determine whether the disease has spread out of the pancreas to other organs and whether the disease can be surgically removed. The disease cannot be surgically removed if it substantially involves the major blood vessels that run near the pancreas.
If the disease has not spread to other organs and appears surgically removable, a surgeon will coordinate your care initially and will make arrangements for your surgery.
If the disease has spread to other organs and does not appear to be removable, a medical oncologist (chemotherapy doctor) will coordinate your care initially, sometimes with a radiation oncologist.
If treatment options are not clear, our clinic may provide a multi-disciplinary evaluation of your care based on the highest standards of care.
We encourage you to contact our referral coordinator at 410-933-PANC (410-933-7262).
She will help you determine whom you should see first and how we can best help you. She will call you within a week to schedule the next available appointment slot. We encourage you to take advantage of our tremendous experience in caring for patients with pancreatic diseases. It is extremely important that you choose a team of specialists with the most up to date knowledge, broad experience, and compassion. We pledge to take great care of you.