September 29, 2022

Vanderbilt lauded for pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis care

Vanderbilt has been recognized as a National Pancreas Foundation Center of Excellence.


by Tom Wilemon

The National Pancreas Foundation has recognized Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a Center of Excellence for both pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis.

The designation comes after a rigorous audit to determine that an institution offers multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis with a focus on the “whole patient” to provide the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.

VUMC is the only National Pancreas Foundation Center of Excellence in Tennessee, having first earned the pancreatic cancer designation in 2021 and the pancreatitis designation in 2022. VUMC received renewal as a Center of Excellence for Pancreatic Cancer with added recognition for being an academic institution with expertise in research and clinical trials. The pancreatitis designation is for the treatment of adults.

Designation criteria include having the required expert physician specialists, such as gastroenterologists, pancreas surgeons, medical oncologists and interventional radiologists, along with more patient-focused programs, such as a pain management service, psychosocial support and more.

“I am very proud of this achievement,” said Kamran Idrees, MD, MSCI, MMHC, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery. “This award is certainly validation of our entire multidisciplinary team’s delivery of excellent patient care.”

The Vanderbilt Pancreas Center offers a protocol that prioritizes time to treatment, second-opinion sessions, a multidisciplinary clinic and a nurse navigator to personally assist patients. For more information about the Vanderbilt Pancreas Center, visit or call 615-473-1930.

“We are thrilled to expand our NPF Centers of Excellence Program to better serve the needs of patients suffering from pancreas disease,” said David Bakelman, CEO of the National Pancreas Foundation. “The NPF Centers of Excellence Program is one of the pillars of the National Pancreas Foundation, and we are looking forward to working with our current and new centers.”