Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

Your care team at Memorial Sloan Kettering will design a treatment program that meets your specific needs. We base this on your accurate diagnosis and all the information we collect about the size and extent of your tumor,

For many people, receiving more than one kind of therapy at a time is the most effective way to fight pancreatic cancer. Treatments can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

How We Care for You

  • If you have benign (noncancerous) pancreatic cysts and precancerous lesions, you can be followed through our specialized Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program.
  • If you have pancreatic cancer, you’ll benefit from the input of a team of experts who will work closely together to build a comprehensive treatment plan just for you.
  • We personalize your treatment using genetic information about your tumor.
  • If you need surgery, our surgical team performs more than 300 traditional as well as minimally invasive procedures each year. We are also able to deliver powerful doses of radiation therapy using the most precise methods available.
  • Our patients have access to new chemotherapy and other drugs through our extensive program of clinical trials.

Treatment for Localized Pancreatic Tumors

We usually recommend surgery if your tumor is limited to the pancreas and doesn’t involve major blood vessels. Following the operation, you’ll typically receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. This helps to prevent the cancer from returning.

Treatment for Locally Advanced Tumors

Approximately 30 to 40 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have locally advanced tumors. This means that the tumors involve key blood vessels and lymph nodes. Surgery is typically not an option right away for these cancers but may be possible following chemotherapy and radiation.

Treatment for Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

If you have pancreatic cancer that has spread (metastasized) to other parts of your body, we can provide chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Our goal is to help you live longer, manage your pain or discomfort, and improve your quality of life.