New center will further elevate UNMC's pancreatic cancer research

June 28, 2018

Image with caption: Dele Davies, M.D.

Dele Davies, M.D.

 The University of Nebraska Board of Regents today approved the establishment of a Center of Excellence in Pancreatic Cancer administered by the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The center will lead to the building of a leading clinical and research program benefiting all Nebraskans, similar to the Frederick F. Paustian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center established in 2015 at UNMC/Nebraska Medicine.

The center will further establish UNMC/Nebraska Medicine as a nationally-recognized center of excellence in care and research related to pancreatic cancer early detection, genetic counseling, surgical techniques and various cutting-edge therapies. This will be accomplished by a team that incorporates basic, innovative, translational and clinical research in pancreatic cancer.

"This interdisciplinary center is congruent with our overall mission of leadership in educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care," said Dele Davies, M.D., senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNMC. "Several of our researchers already are leaders in seeking new innovative diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for pancreatic cancer, and this center will help cement this status. It also will enable us to better compete for future funding opportunities and external collaborations that help grow the university and our initiatives dealing with pancreatic cancer."

UNMC/Nebraska Medicine currently has some of the nation’s foremost pancreatic cancer researchers, clinicians and physician-scientists, engaged in leading research and scholarship related to pancreatic cancer. But, there previously was no organizational unit to spur collaboration among them.

Three additional physician-scientists and three basic/translational scientists will be hired to join those already at work at UNMC. Physicians, scientists and other health professionals specializing in pancreatic cancer will be brought together under a single director named to lead the newly-established multi-disciplinary team.

Pancreatic cancer is of crucial concern for UNMC/Nebraska Medicine and the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center because:

·         Pancreatic cancer is one of the nation’s - and Nebraska’s - most lethal cancers, with a 5-year survival rate of 5 percent;

·         Incidence of pancreatic cancer is increasing, with 259 cases diagnosed in Nebraska per year - and by 2030, it is expected to become the second-leading cause of cancer-related mortality;

·         There are no other center of excellence programs for pancreatic cancer in the adjacent five-state region.

"This center will enable us to pull together already successful projects in a more cohesive and collaborative manner," Dr. Davies said.

We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.

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