Stony Brook University Cancer Center is designated by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) as a Pancreatic Cancer Center. It is the first NPF Cancer Center on Long Island.
The NPF offers this distinction only to those institutions that treat the "whole patient" and that offer some of the best outcomes and improved quality of life for patients with pancreatic cancer.
Our Pancreatic Cancer Center is not only a center for the multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer, but also for research on it aimed ultimately at advancing its treatment. Stony Brook Cancer Center has a number of scientists pursuing research on pancreatic cancer, plus a history of using leading-edge treatments for it.
In addition to our surgical oncologists who specialize in the management of pancreatic cancer, the Cancer Center's Gastrointestinal Oncology Team includes a range of specialists in medical hematology/oncology, radiation oncology, gastroenterology, pathology, and radiology. Other specialists at the Cancer Center who provide care for patients with pancreatic cancer include nutritionists and social workers.
Aaron R. Sasson, MD, Chief of Surgical Oncology, will also serve the Director of the Pancreatic Cancer Center. Dr. Sasson coordinated the screening process to gain the special NPF designation. A widely respected specialist in pancreatic cancer, Dr. Sasson is interested in screening and early detection as well as biomarkers. At least half of his work is related to pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Sasson and fellow surgical oncologist Georgios V. Georgakis, MD, PhD, of the Surgical Oncology Division, both specialize in a complex operation called the Whipple procedure or pancreatico-duodenectomy, the only treatment option at present that has any chance of curing pancreatic cancer. A specialist in minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery, Dr. Georgakis in 2017 performed Long Island's first totally robotic Whipple procedure (read more). The minimally invasive approach to the Whipple generally offers eligible patients the benefits of less time in the hospital as well as reduced mortality and morbidity associated with the procedure
How NPF Designation Benefits Our Patients
Approved NPF Cancer Centers have to go through an extensive auditing process and meet the criteria developed by a task force made up of invited subject matter experts and patient advocates. The criteria include having the required expert physician specialties such as pancreas surgeons, gastroenterologists, and interventional radiologists, along with more patient-focused programs such as a pain management service, psychosocial support, and more.
For patients and families coping with pancreatic cancer, there are inconsistencies in the level of care they receive at various hospitals. The NPF Cancer Centers designation:
- Helps to facilitate the development of high-quality, multidisciplinary care approaches for the field.
- Seeks to advance research and lead the way for heightened awareness and understanding of pancreatic cancer among community physicians, allied health professionals, patients, families and the general public.
- Helps distinguish institutions whose focus is on patient-centered care, either for the treatment of their disease or to get an expert second opinion.
A nonprofit organization founded in 1997, the NPF provides hope for those suffering from pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer through funding research, advocating for new and better therapies, and providing support and education for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.