Pancreatic Cancer is the most lethal malignancy known to mankind. In the US, approximately 37,000 patients per year are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; virtually all will die from their disease. Pancreatic cancer is the only malignancy in which the incidence equals the mortality. Two major problems are associated with pancreatic cancer: there is no effective method to screen patients for the disease, and perhaps more importantly, there is no effective treatment. Surgerical treatment is the mainstay of therapy for pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic surgery is a complex endeavor; however, over the past few decades advances in surgical technique and perioperative care have led to improved surgical outcomes in patients with pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, even patients who have their pancreatic cancer completely removed, will virtually all develop recurrence of the disease and die. Investment in research to define the biology of pancreatic cancer is therefore essential, as we must discover effective methods to diagnose and treat this deadly disease.
Dr. Nicholas Zyromski, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Indiana University School of Medicine