Pancreatic Cyst Research

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we’re actively trying to understand why cysts sometimes develop in the pancreas. We’re also working to learn more about how to best identify which cysts to remove right away, which might become cancerous over time, and the best approach to each type of cyst.

Our Pancreatic Cyst Registry has recorded information from the more than 3,000 people who have come to us for evaluation and treatment of pancreatic cysts. Over time, this secure database has helped us improve our ability to predict which cysts are likely to become cancerous and should get treated immediately.

Our researchers are also working to identify biomarkers, such as proteins and genes, that can help us in distinguishing between benign (noncancerous) and precancerous cysts and determine whether a precancerous cyst will become malignant (cancerous). This information can help identify which treatments best fit your unique needs.

If in addition to a pancreatic cyst you also have a family history of gastrointestinal cancer, your treatment team may recommend a consultation with the experts overseeing our Pancreatic Tumor Registry. This database helps us identify pancreatic cancer earlier in its course and develop more-effective treatments.