Pancreatic Cancer

Masonic Cancer Center was one of four institutions awarded a five-year, $11.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to explore groundbreaking pancreatic cancer research, prevention, and treatment.
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Pancreatic cancer is a gastrointestinal cancer that affects the pancreas, a small gland that produces enzymes and hormones, including insulin, to regulate your blood glucose and help you digest food. Pancreatic cancer is a very complex disease that spreads quickly. It is often diagnosed late, making treatment more difficult. There are two types of pancreatic cancer:
  • Exocrine pancreatic cancer, which represents the greatest number of cases, develops in the ducts that produce digestive fluids.
  • Endocrine pancreatic cancer, also called islet cell cancer, begins in the cells that make hormones.

Our Approach

Our physicians are global leaders in the diagnosis and multidisciplinary treatment of complex pancreatic cancer. Many of our physicians are involved in research, including clinical trials with a drug developed at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Research in action
Masonic Cancer Center was one of four institutions awarded a five-year, $11.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to explore groundbreaking pancreatic cancer research, prevention and treatment. The grant focuses on achieving breakthroughs in research to better understand, diagnose and treat patients with pancreatic cancer. The medical center is one of a very few institutions in the country with federal funding to support a comprehensive treatment program in pancreatic cancer.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures


Chemotherapy is a treatment option for adults or children with cancer using drugs that kill cancer cells. Often simply called “chemo,” chemotherapy is a combination of medications designed to destroy cancer cells, cause remission of your cancer or actually cure the cancer.
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Pancreas Surgery

Pancreas surgery can be required for several conditions, including pancreatitis and pancreas cancer. Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It can be caused by many conditions, including gallstones, heredity or structural issues involving your pancreatic duct drainage.
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Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to shrink tumors, kill cancer cells, and treat other non-cancerous conditions. Several types of radiation therapy is often used to limit radiation exposure as much as possible while still delivering the optimal outcomes for patients.
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TomoTherapy is a specialized form of radiation delivery that combines radiation therapy with 3D imaging to create more precise targeting of tumors. It works by delivering radiation beams from multiple directions allowing the radiation to match the exact shape of the tumor.
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Immunotherapy is an emerging form of cancer treatment with great promise and limited toxicity. Its goal is to harness the power of the patient’s immune system and use it to fight cancer. Sometimes called biological therapy, it's changing the way we think about cancer treatment.
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Social Work Services for Cancer Patients

M Health Fairview offers Social Work Services for Cancer Patients, and we're committed to providing you with personalized, breakthrough care.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Radiation Therapy
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Medical Management
  • Whipple Procedure