Pancreatic Cancer Treatments

One of Michigan’s most experienced pancreatic cancer programs, offering patients the most advanced treatments.

At Henry Ford, our multidisciplinary pancreatic cancer team has a proven track record as a major center for treating pancreatic tumors. 

Our team will meet with you to go over your treatment options, which may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, clinical trialspalliative care or active surveillance for those who have completed all treatment.

Personalized treatment options 

As a high-volume center, we reduce time from diagnosis to first consultation, offer best practices and work with you to ensure best outcomes. 

Our multidisciplinary pancreas-specific tumor board meets weekly to discuss your case and develop a treatment plan.

Your treatment may include one or more of these options:

Types of pancreatic cancer treatment

At Henry Ford, we are at the forefront of new technology and better approaches to manage what may be a challenging diagnosis. We offer innovative techniques and treatment options for pancreatic cancer, including:

Advanced minimally-invasive surgery

There have been major advancements in minimally-invasive procedures for pancreatic cancer surgery. With advanced technology and surgeons' experience, some minimally invasive surgical techniques –  whether laparoscopic or robotic pancreas surgery – may be offered to you depending your circumstances and the location of your tumor. 

NanoKnife

We were the first in Michigan to use a surgical soft tissue ablation technique, also known as NanoKnife, to treat inoperable pancreatic tumors.

These locally-advanced tumors often are located near vital blood vessels in the pancreas, making it difficult to safely perform traditional surgery.

NanoKnife uses a technology called irreversible electroporation to send electrical pulses through small probes placed into a tumor. This induces cell lysis, killing cancer cells while avoiding damage to the surrounding area of the pancreas.

NanoKnife may be offered to patients whose pancreatic cancer tumors are otherwise considered locally advanced where curative surgery may not be an option, or borderline resectable disease. 

Leaders in radiation therapy

Using the most advanced technology, we are able to more effectively deliver radiation therapy to our pancreatic cancer patients. Radiation options include:

  • External beam radiation therapy (EBRT), which uses beams of radioactive energy to destroy tumors. Some forms of external radiation therapy involve multiple lower doses delivered in several sessions over a course of 5-6 weeks. 
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), which can deliver precisely-targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy, and preserve healthy tissue. SBRT includes:

Clinical trials

In addition to standard cancer treatments, some patients may qualify to participate in clinical trials. Our pancreatic cancer team participates in several clinical trials.

Our team will work with you to determine if a clinical trial is right for you.

Assessing your pancreatic cancer risk

If you have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, or if you have family members who carry certain genetic mutations, you may be at a higher risk for developing pancreatic cancer. 

Our team can assess your risk and offer genetic testing and counseling, if appropriate. 

Personalized care and support

Our multidisciplinary team will help you understand what to expect during your clinic visit, and explain your treatment options to you. We will be there for any questions you may have during your journey. 

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7

Call us at (888) 777-4167