Pancreas Center, New York–Presbyterian Hospital
New York–Presbyterian Pancreas Center, established in 2007, is a division of New York–Presbyterian Hospital and affiliated with Columbia University.
Annually, the center treats about 400 inpatients and records nearly 1,800 outpatient visits. Five surgical oncologists, six interventional endoscopists, five medical oncologists, and seven clinical coordinators staff this facility, which is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Best known for treating pancreatic adenocarcinoma, neuroendocrine tumors, and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, NYP Pancreas Center is also known for portal vein reconstruction with pancreatic resections, and for NanoKnife electroporation with pancreatic tumors. Twenty-one Nanoknife procedures were performed in 2013.
The center utilizes minimally invasive technologies such as laparoscopy, robotic techniques, and fine-needle biopsy. Its specialized instrumentation includes endoscopic ultrasound and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), enabling examination of the tubes that drain the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. The gastrointestinal endoscopy team has developed a high level of technical skill, executing more than 1,500 ERCP and endoscopic ultrasound procedures every year.
Gastroenterologists at NYP Pancreas Center also use intraductal ultrasound to better visualize cysts and tumors within the pancreas. The SpyGlass™ Direct Visualization System is employed for single-operator duodenoscope-assisted cholangiopancreatoscopy (SODAC), which is particularly beneficial with patients who have difficult-to-access ducts due to premalignant lesions, indeterminate biliary and pancreatic strictures, and intractable stones.
One of the facility’s most commonly performed procedures is the traditional Whipple procedure (with or without portal vein reconstruction). Also known as pancreaticoduodenectomy, it was pioneered by former Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University, Allen Oldfather Whipple. This operation removes the head of the pancreas along with the duodenum, the gallbladder, a portion of the stomach, and a portion of the bile duct. In 2013 the center carried out 109 Whipple procedures, as well as 75 distal and 13 total pancreatectomies and 7 complex pancreatectomies (central and Appleby procedures).
Approximately one-third of pancreatic cancer cases are ruled inoperable because the disease has entered blood vessels in the area. Physicians at NYP Pancreas Center, however, use neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radation to shrink tumors and are able to offer surgery to as many as 85 percent of patients diagnosed with locally inoperable cancer.
Another treatment advance is GTX, which combines existing chemotherapy medications Gemzar, Taxotere, and Xeloda in a unique regimen that boasts record response and survival rates in a phase II trial, despite pancreatic cancer’s usual resistance to chemotherapy.
The Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Prevention & Genetics Program, established by one of the center’s patients, combines patient-centered clinical practice with innovative research. The center is also home to the Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program, focusing on patients with known or suspected pancreatic cysts. A multidisciplinary group of specialists establishes an aggressive observation plan that engages oncologists and gastroenterologists for detection, diagnosis, and treatment; surgeons for diagnostic and therapeutic operations; geneticists to identify at-risk family members; and nurse practitioners to help manage patient care.
Sufferers of gastrointestinal and pancreatic disease often face problems with eating and maintaining weight. Thus, NYP Pancreas Center offers free nutrition counseling to every patient, with customized food and dietary plans based on a clinical nutritionist’s assessment of the patient’s individual needs.
Translators are available for all languages. The facility provides accommodations, an amenities unit, newspapers and television in the patient’s language, and coordination with patients’ home embassies. It also has religious centers and books, honors dietary requests such as kosher and halal, and helps patients celebrate holidays at local religious centers.
Second opinion consultations are available; patients can contact NYP Pancreas Center’s administrator for further information.
Last updated on 11 January 2017
Get to Know Your Hospital or Clinic
Once you’ve chosen a date and destination for your treatment, you’ll be wise to do some additional sleuthing, beginning with your treatment center. Although detail-driven, this investigation is not as daunting as it sounds, and most of your research involves simple fact-checking.