November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
And this November, in what has been an especially trying year for all of us, saw the loss of one of the world’s most beloved icons to the disease. Alex Trebek, long-time host of Jeopardy and the most trusted man on television, lost his battle to stage IV pancreatic cancer earlier this month at age 80, leaving behind his wife, two children, and millions of us who will miss his steady presence in our lives. While we at MediFind share our sadness with many, we also want to provide hope to people who continue facing this disease.
Below, we highlight 10 of the elite doctors who are leading the fight against pancreatic cancer in the US.
These medical superheroes are global leaders in their field. They publish many articles in medical journals, speak at medical conferences, and participate in multiple clinical trials. They are likely to be on the cutting edge of new treatments. These doctors are also likely to hold leadership positions in their respective organizations. While there are many excellent doctors who treat pancreatic cancer, we’re proud to honor these stand-out individuals and their colleagues.
NYU Langone Health in New York, NY
Dr. Christopher Wolfgang leads the new Division of Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery at NYU Langone Health, which will offer world-class care for patients with cancers and diseases of the bile duct, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. He was formerly the Director of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery and Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins. His primary clinical interests are cancers and benign disease of the liver, pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder. His major scientific interest is in the biological behavior of pancreatic cancers. He has been an author on 463 peer reviewed articles in the past 15 years. In particular, he has been an author on 329 peer reviewed articles regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
Along with Dr. Wolfgang, there are several other world-class experts in pancreatic cancer at Johns Hopkins, including Dr. Daniel Laheru and Dr. Ralph Hruban. Dr. Laheru is a Professor of Oncology and Co-Director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care. Dr. Hruban is a Professor of Pathology and Director of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA
Dr. Brian Wolpin is Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center and Co-Director of the Pancreas and Biliary Tumor Center at Dana-Farber. He is also the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has been an author on 170 peer reviewed articles and participated in 5 clinical trials in the past 15 years. In particular, he has been an author on 109 peer reviewed articles and participated in 5 clinical trials regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY
Dr. Eileen O’Reilly is Winthrop Rockefeller Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology, Co-Director of Medical Initiatives at the David M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, and Section Head of Hepatopancreaticobilary & Neuroendocrine Cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She has been an author on 252 peer reviewed articles in the past 15 years. In particular, she has been an author on 153 peer reviewed articles regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL
Dr. Jason Fleming is chair and senior member of the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology. Dr. Fleming is also a member of the Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program. Prior to joining Moffitt, Dr. Fleming was professor with tenure in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he served as chief of Pancreas Surgery and executive director of Perioperative Services. In addition to his academic and administrative responsibilities at MD Anderson, Dr. Fleming was co-director of the Pancreatic Cancer Moonshot Program, a Scientific and Medical Advisory board member for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), and a consultant for the Society of Abdominal Radiology Disease-Focused Panel. He has been an author on 242 peer reviewed articles and participated in 3 clinical trials in the past 15 years. In particular, he has been an author on 195 peer reviewed articles and participated in 2 clinical trials regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
Dr. Malafa is a surgeon and a Senior Member in the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology and the Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program at Moffitt, as well as Vice Chair of the NCCN Pancreas Panel and a board member on the Emeritus Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN). Dr. Strosberg is a medical oncologist and professor at Moffitt Cancer Center specializing in the management of neuroendocrine malignancies, and leads Moffitt’s Neuroendocrine Tumor Division and Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Program.
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO
Dr. Andrea Wang-Gillam is a gastrointestinal oncologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Oncology Division, at Washington University School of Medicine. She has been an author on 88 peer reviewed articles and participated in 9 clinical trials in the past 15 years. In particular, she has been an author on 58 peer reviewed articles and participated in 2 clinical trials regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
Froedtert Hospital & Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Douglas Evans is the Donald C. Ausman Family Foundation Professor of Surgery and Chair of the Department of Surgery at The Medical College of Wisconsin. Prior to joining the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2009, he was the Hamill Foundation Distinguished Professor of Surgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Evans has devoted his professional career to the research and treatment of pancreatic cancer and inherited endocrine syndromes. He has been an author on 276 peer reviewed articles in the past 15 years. In particular, he has been an author on 154 peer reviewed articles regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA
Dr. Andrew Hendifar is Medical Director, Pancreatic Cancer and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai. His current research is on developing new therapies for pancreatic cancer and neuroendocrine tumors. Dr. Hendifar, along with his colleagues from Surgery, Gastroenterology, Radiation Oncology and Radiology have formed multidisciplinary teams that specialize in the treatments of pancreatic cancer, and carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumors. He has been an author on 104 peer reviewed articles and participated in 8 clinical trials in the past 15 years. In particular, he has been an author on 36 peer reviewed articles and participated in 5 clinical trials regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago, IL
Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler is Professor of Medicine in Hematology/Oncology and Associate Vice Chair for Clinical Research for the Department of Medicine at University of Chicago. She specializes in the medical treatment of pancreatic cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and malignant mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure). Her research focuses on the investigation of novel agents for the treatment of these cancers, and she designs and leads many innovative clinical trials for patients with these diseases. Dr. Kindler has been an author on 179 peer reviewed articles and participated in 10 clinical trials in the past 15 years. In particular, she has been an author on 54 peer reviewed articles and participated in 2 clinical trials regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
HonorHealth in Scottsdale AZ
Dr. Erkut Borazanci is a medical oncologist and clinical investigator at HonorHealth Research Institute. Dr. Borazanci is also the director of the early detection program at HonorHealth and holds adjunct appointments as clinical associate professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and clinical assistant professor at University of Arizona.
Dr. Borazanci obtained his Master of Science in molecular biology and biochemistry at Louisiana State University Health. He completed medical school, internal medicine residency, and oncology fellowship at LSU Health Shreveport. His specialty is gastrointestinal oncology, particularly pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Borazanci is the principal investigator for several clinical trials, many of which are phase I and are first in human studies. He has a strong interest in pancreatic cancer and his research has been published in Nature, JAMA Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and the Oncologist, among others. HonorHealth Research Institute has closely worked with TGen along with several collaborators to bring new and promising agents to offer as treatment options at HonorHealth Research Institute on the HonorHealth Shea Campus in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He has been an author on 26 peer reviewed articles and been principal investigator of 42 clinical trials in the past 7 years. In particular, he has been an author on 18 peer reviewed articles and has been principal investigator in 24 clinical trials regarding Pancreatic Cancer. Additionally, he has been an author of 50 abstracts presented at various research meetings including AACR, ASCO, and ESMO.
In memoriam: Gauri Varadhachary, MBBS, MD
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX
Dr. Gauri Varadhachary was a Professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. She passed away due to complications from lung cancer on June 5, 2021 at age 52. Tributes can be made in her name here.
She was an author on 161 peer reviewed articles and participated in 1 clinical trial in the past 15 years. In particular, she has been an author on 107 peer reviewed articles and participated in 1 clinical trial regarding Pancreatic Cancer.
Dr. Varadhachary notes, “When I first joined MD Anderson 16 years ago, a pancreatic cancer diagnosis was considered a death sentence. But research has made several advances since then.
For one thing, we can stage pancreatic cancer more accurately now, which helps us determine which patients would benefit the most from surgery, as well as the best timing of that surgery: before or after chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.”
Dr. Wolff is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of GI Medical Oncology at MD Anderson. He is also the Deputy Division Head, Clinical and Educational Affairs in the Division of Cancer Medicine and serves as the Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship.
Dr. Anirban is a Professor of Pathology and Translational Molecular Pathology and Deputy Division Head for Academic Science in the Division of Pathology/Lab Medicine at MD Anderson, as well as the Scientific Director of the Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
About Pancreatic Cancer
Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer usually shows little or no symptoms until it has advanced and spread. Therefore, most cases (up to 80 percent) are diagnosed at later, more difficult-to-treat stages. Following up on early potential signs (like jaundice, belly or back pain, weight loss, or poor appetite) are particularly important.
Behind the List
MediFind is the industry authority on identifying the leading medical experts and latest research in order to help patients facing the most complex and challenging diseases make better health decisions. Leveraging our expertise in natural language processing and machine learning, we applied our world-class models to uncover the physicians leading the United States’ response to pancreatic cancer. MediFind identifies leading experts using world-class models that assess over 2.5 million global doctors based on a range of variables, including research leadership, patient volume, peer standing, and connectedness to other experts. To learn more about MediFind and how it works, visit MediFind.com