For Immediate Release September 26, 2016

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University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center and St. Joseph Medical Center sole programs in state recognized by NPF for pancreatic cancer care

Baltimore, MD – September 26, 2016 - The University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) and University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center (UM SJMC) have been recognized by The National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) for their treatment and care of patients with pancreatic cancer. The two hospitals, both part of the University of Maryland Medical System and its University of Maryland Cancer Network, are the only two in Maryland to be designated as NPF Centers for their expertise in treating pancreatic cancer.

NPF Centers are premier healthcare facilities that focus on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer, treating the “whole patient” with a view toward the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life. Pancreatic cancer is one of the more difficult cancers to treat, and patients benefit from receiving a multidisciplinary team approach to care.

People coping with pancreatic cancer or other pancreatic disorders often face inconsistencies in the level of care they receive. An NPF Center designation helps facilitate the development of high-quality, multidisciplinary care approaches for the field. Designated centers seek 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.

“This is quite an honor for our programs and reflects the quality of our dedicated multidisciplinary teams in both the academic medical center and community hospital settings,” said Nader Hanna, MD, Professor of Surgery and Director of Clinical Operations for the Division of General and Oncologic Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of the UM SJMC Cancer Institute. A nationally recognized surgical oncologist specializing in pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers, Dr. Hanna cares for patients as a member of the multidisciplinary teams at both UMGCCC and UM SJMC.

“To achieve such recognition truly takes a team of experts – including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, genetic counselors, nurse navigators, palliative care specialists and a host of other staff working in support services who are integral to the care and wellbeing of our patients,” said John A. Olson, Jr., MD, PhD, Associate Director of the UMGCCC who also heads the University of Maryland Cancer Network. Dr. Olson is also the Campbell & Jeanette Plugge Professor and Vice Chair of Surgery and the Division Head of General and Oncologic Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The annual incidence of pancreatic cancer in Maryland is slightly higher than the national average - 12.8 cases per 100,000 people compared to 12.3 cases nationally, according to 2009-2013 data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Baltimore City rates are 16.2 (highest in Maryland) and Baltimore County is 13.2 (9th highest). Each year, 101 people in Baltimore City are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 131 are diagnosed in Baltimore County. Nationwide, more than 42,500 cases are diagnosed each year.

In addition to the Cancer Institute at UM SJMC and UMGCCC, two other community cancer centers are part of the University of Maryland Cancer Network. UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center’s Tate Cancer Center and the UM Upper Chesapeake Health’s Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center are also part of the network, which was launched in 2014. Patients cared for at any of the UM Cancer Network locations have access to industry-sponsored clinical trials, cooperative group trials and investigator-initiated trials.

To be approved as an NPF Center, applicants must undergo an extensive auditing process and meet criteria developed by a task force comprised of invited experts and patient advocates. The criteria includes having the required expert physician specialties such as oncologists, gastroenterologists, pancreas surgeons, clinical trials, palliative care, and interventional radiologists, along with more patient focused programs such as a pain management service, psychosocial support and more.

For more information about the UMGCCC visit http://umm.edu/programs/cancer.

For more information about UM SJMC’s Cancer Institute visit www.StJosephTowson.com/cancer

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About the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. The center is a joint entity of the University of Maryland Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine. It offers a multidisciplinary approach to treating all types of cancer and has an active cancer research program. It is ranked in the top 25 cancer programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

 
About the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center

University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, founded in 1864 by the Sisters of St. Francis, is a 235-bed nonprofit, regional medical center in Towson, Md., and a member of the 12-hospital University of Maryland Medical System. For more information, visit UM SJMC Home. The UM SJMC Cancer Institute is a member of the University of Maryland Cancer Network through its affiliation with the UM Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

 
About the University of Maryland Cancer Network
Led by the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore City, one of the nation's 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, the UM Cancer Network also includes the Tate Cancer Center at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, The Cancer Institute at UM St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, and the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center at UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. The UM Cancer Network’s national experts in medical, radiation and surgical oncology work together to develop customized treatment plans for patients, providing access to the latest treatments, leading-edge technology and promising clinical trials — all close to home.

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