Pancreatic cancers (pancreatic carcinoma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, other malignant neoplasms of pancreas) begin in the tissues of your pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas secretes enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help regulate the metabolism of sugars.
Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it’s a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced and complete surgical removal isn’t possible. Hence, research is needed for prevention, screening, early detection, and improved treatment and lifestyle intervention.
Dr. Jonathan A. Nowak is leading this effort, and we are actively collaborating in this area with Dr. Brian M. Wolpin.