Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer

Cancers of the liver, bile ducts, and gallbladder (hepatobiliary cancers) and pancreatic cancer often are advanced by the time they are diagnosed.  Treatment of hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer requires an integrated approach. John Theurer Cancer Center offers the full range of robotic and minimally invasive surgeries to remove or eradicate tumors, along with the most advanced medical therapies.  We have the experience and the resources to offer you the most effective treatment for your type of hepatobiliary or pancreatic cancer.

Diagnosing Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer

Accurate diagnosis is essential to treatment planning for hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer. This also requires skill in endoscopic approaches to view, diagnose and stage your tumor. Our expert team uses the most advanced technology with accurate and prompt results.

  • Advanced imaging includes MRI, CT and PET scans and X-rays.
  • Angiography is an X-ray taken after dye or contrast medium is injected into your arteries to show an outline of your blood vessels.
  • Biopsy is a procedure to remove a small portion of tissue for testing, sometimes with ultrasound or MRI imaging.
  • Blood tests are used to check your blood for certain markers that indicate cancer.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) combines endoscopy and sound waves, to improve the visibility of your pancreas and bile ducts and allow your doctor to take a biopsy.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound uses a special probe and high-energy sound waves to diagnose, stage and treat liver, pancreatic or hepatobiliary cancer.
  • Liver function tests are blood tests that indicate how well your liver is working.
  • 3D assessment of a tumor based on CT exams is used for diagnosis and treatment planning.
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Advanced Surgery for Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer

Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery is a complex area of surgery that requires an experienced team.

We routinely treat liver, pancreas and hepatobiliary cancers. This means you’ll find:

  • Our specially trained surgeons are well versed in the full range of robotic, minimally invasive and open techniques used to treat liver, pancreas or hepatobiliary cancer.
  • We carefully review each patient’s case, and based on evidence and experience, make recommendations for treatment.
  • We utilize innovative surgical approaches and technologies in our commitment to superior outcomes for patients.

Our expert surgeons use the latest da Vinci surgical robot to remove liver, pancreas and hepatobiliary cancer with great precision, fewer side effects and reduced recovery time.

  • Open surgery. If you are not a candidate for robotic surgery, our surgeons are skilled at performing open surgical resection to remove tumors of the pancreas, liver and surrounding organs.
  • Whipple surgery. The Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) is the primary surgery for pancreatic cancer. Surgeons remove the head of the pancreas, and parts of the small intestine, gallbladder, stomach and lymph nodes.
  • Palliative surgery. Even if your cancer is inoperable, sometimes we can perform surgery to relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Interventional radiologists use minimally invasive approaches, including ablation (killing tumor tissue with intense heat) and embolization (cutting off blood supply to the tumor). These techniques may be the primary treatment, or used to reduce the size of tumors before surgery.

Treatments Available for Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer

Your team includes oncologists who develop a treatment plan for your specific type, grade and stage of cancer. Our goal is to effectively target your hepatobiliary or pancreatic cancer while reducing side effects.

Works by slowing down or stopping the growth of cancer cells. We choose chemotherapy combinations based on the latest research and your exact type of tumor, if it has spread and your overall health.

Blocks the production or effects of hormones that can stimulate cancer growth.

Uses biological substances to boost your immune system to find and destroy cancer cells.

We analyze your cancer to identify genetic mutations and the molecular signals driving its growth, so we can disable cancer cells from growing, dividing and spreading.

Why Choose John Theurer Cancer Center

Best in New Jersey

U.S. News & World Report ranks John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center as the best cancer center in New Jersey.

Quality of Care

The Gold Seal of ApprovalĀ® is a symbol of quality that reflects our commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. The medical center is the first in New Jersey to receive this accreditation.


Our Center of Excellence for Robotics is one of the top three largest robotic surgery programs in the New York/New Jersey metro area, offering robotic surgery at several convenient locations.

Our Doctors

You have a team of experts in liver, pancreas and hepatobiliary cancer, committed to delivering the most effective treatment possible. This experts include fellowship-trained surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, interventional radiologists, gastroenterologists and oncology nurses. Our experts meet at a regular Tumor Board to discuss your case, combining their expertise to provide highly coordinated, personalized care.

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