Pancreatic Cancer Program | Tampa General Hospital

Pancreatic Cancer Program

World-Class Pancreatic Oncology in a Community Setting

The TGH Pancreatic Cancer Program offers comprehensive and integrative care from therapeutic endoscopists, pancreatobiliary surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, genetic counselors, dieticians, psychologists and Survivorship Program. Working together, our experts craft well-rounded and personalized treatment plans for each patient’s specific diagnosis, no matter the severity.

Nationally-Recognized Care

Our multidisciplinary approach is just one reason why many patients with complex or locally advanced cancers turn to TGH. Tampa General Hospital is recognized in the Top 10% in the Nation for Cancer Care by U.S. News & World Report 2023-24 and is ranked as one of the nation's Best Cancer Hospitals by Newsweek 2023.

Additionally, TGH has been nationally recognized as an approved NPF Center by the National Pancreas Foundation. NPF Centers are awarded after a rigorous audit review to determine that an institution's focus is on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer, treating the “whole patient,” with a focus on the best possible outcomes and improved quality of life. This recognition is a testament to our team's physician expertise, patient volume, quality metrics and collaboration of more than 13 medical subspecialties.

Our Advanced Treatment Approach

TGH utilizes the latest and most advanced technology when diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer. Depending on the location and progression of a patient’s cancer, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a tailored combination of these.

If pancreatic cancer surgery is deemed appropriate, our highly experienced surgeons use classic and minimally invasive techniques, including robotic-assisted approaches that can help shorten the recovery period and reduce post-operative discomfort.

Additionally, we are the first program in Southwest Florida to offer irreversible electroporation (IRE) for patients with unresectable tumors or extensive medical problems that make radical surgery impractical. We're also one of the few cancer centers that specialize in "locally advanced" pancreatic tumors deemed inoperable by conventional techniques. In the appropriate setting we offer complex vascular reconstructions or multiorgan resections in order to achieve complete tumor clearance.

TGH also participates in trailblazing clinical trials and is uniquely positioned to advance the field of pancreatic oncology. Through our ongoing research, we are committed to expanding treatment options, minimizing symptoms and improving outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients.

Expertly Coordinated Care

At the TGH Cancer Institute, we understand the importance of teamwork. That’s why we prioritize close communication with patients’ primary care practitioners and referring physicians. Through this collaborative approach to care, we provide a more streamlined treatment experience that allows patients to focus more on their well-being and less on juggling referrals, appointments and medical reports between practitioners.

This relationship is also key to fully understanding a patient’s diagnosis, as pancreatic cancer is sometimes linked to health concerns that a primary care physician may first recognize in a patient, like:

  • Late-onset diabetes
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

If you would like additional information about our Pancreatic Cancer Program, are displaying pancreatic cancer symptoms, or would like to receive a second opinion, call us at (813) 844-4554 to schedule an appointment. We offer brief appointment wait times so you can speak with a specialist as quickly as possible.

World-Class Team

TGH's Pancreatic Cancer Program is made up of a world-class team of specialists including pancreatic cancer surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, palliative care specialists, therapeutic endoscopy specialists, advanced practice providers, and specialists providing nutrition, genetics, social work, and dietician services. Get to know the experts providing care throughout your treatment journey.

Pancreatic Cancer Surgeons

Andreas Karachristos, MD, FACS
Medical Director, Surgical Oncology
Director, Pancreatic Cancer Center

Dr. Karachristos is a Professor and Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and is the Medical Director of Surgical Oncology with the TGH Cancer Institute. Dr. Karachristos has extensive experience in Pancreatic malignancies and provides comprehensive care for advanced tumors of the pancreas He utilizes both open surgical and minimally invasive approaches, such as robotic and laparoscopic surgery. He specializes in complex vascular reconstructions after major resections. His research is focused in on enhancing liver recovery after major resections and in safety in HBP surgery. Dr. Karachristos has served on the Hepatobiliary Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and currently serving on Hepatobiliary Subcommittee of the Society of the Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. He has been named Top Doctor in Surgery in Philadelphia. Dr. Karachristos was recognized by Tampa Magazine as one of Tampa Bay's Top Doctors in Surgical Oncology.

Timothy Nywening, MD, MS, MPHS

Dr. Nywening offers expertise in a broad range of surgical oncology services, including minimally invasive surgical techniques. His areas of clinical expertise include treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies and pancreatic cancer. In addition, he has a strong clinical and research interest in both malignant diseases of the liver, pancreas and biliary systems. Dr. Nywening also offers treatment for advanced disease, including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy for peritoneal surface malignancies and multidisciplinary management of metastatic liver tumors. Dr. Nywening was recognized by Tampa Magazine as one of Tampa Bay's Top Doctors in Surgical Oncology.

Radiation Oncologists

Richard Tuli, MD
Medical Director, Radiation Oncology, Tampa General Hospital
Deputy Director, TGH Cancer Institute

Richard Tuli, MD, PhD, is the director of radiation oncology at Tampa General Hospital as well as a professor and chair of radiation oncology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. Prior to joining TGH, he served as associate attending and director of developmental therapeutics at the NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and associate professor and clinical director of radiation oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. As a leader in advancing the field of radiation oncology, Dr. Tuli focuses on providing a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and personalized experience for patients through a combination of cutting-edge technology, novel treatments and developing a connection between the patient and provider.

Medical Oncologists

Norman Ashraf, MD

Dr. Noman Ashraf is a hematologist-oncologist with Tampa General Hospital who specializes in solid tumor oncology. He has been an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine since 2019. Prior to joining Tampa General Hospital, Dr. Ashraf served as the assistant chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa after completing his hematology and medical oncology fellowship with USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in 2012. Dr. Ashraf has also served as a principal investigator for clinical trials and is credited with several peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and presentations in his areas of expertise.

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Boris G. Naraev, MD, PhD, FACP
Gastrointestinal Medical Oncologist, Tampa General Hospital

Dr. Naraev is a gastrointestinal medical oncologist with the Tampa General Hospital’s Cancer Institute. He has a strong clinical and research interest in pancreatic malignancies, with a particular focus on neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas. Prior to joining the TGH Cancer Institute, Dr. Naraev was the Lead of Neuroendocrine Cancer Program at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Phoenix, Arizona, and Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Later, he served as the Leader of Gastrointestinal, Neuroendocrine, and Rare Cancers Program at the Anderson Family Cancer Institute at Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Florida. In this capacity, he helped build the National Pancreas Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Center of Excellence at Jupiter Medical Center. Dr. Naraev is involved in research related to neuroendocrine tumors and other pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers, community outreach, and is a member of the Guidelines Committee of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society.

Therapeutic Endoscopy (GI Providers)

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Rene Gomez-Esquivel, MD

Gastroenterology, USF Health Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology

Dr. Rene D Gomez-Esquivel is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. Dr. Gomez-Esquivel completed his medical education at the Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico. He then completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency, followed by fellowships in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Adult Gastroenterology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Gomez-Esquivel then performed an Advanced Endoscopic fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

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Jonathan Hilal, MD

Gastroenterology, USF Health Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology

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Pushpak Taunk, MD

Gastroenterology, USF Health Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology

Dr. Taunk grew up Pinellas County and went to medical school at the University of Miami. He completed his internal medicine residency and GI fellowship training at Boston University Medical Center. He then went on to perform one additional year of specialized training in Interventional Endoscopy at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He decided to return home to USF/TGH after completing his training in 2015. Since being on faculty at USF, he has helped start an advanced endoscopy fellowship and has taken a keen interest in performing complex interventional EUS procedures.

Nurse Navigation and APP

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Lorena Newsome

Patient Service Line Navigator
TGH Cancer Institute

Nutrition, Genetics, Social Work, and Dietician Services

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Alexandra Vermillion

Clinical Nutrition Specialist

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Brittany Sears

Oncology Genetic Counselor

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Cecilia Gordillo Casero

Oncology Genetic Counselor


Andrea Campbell

Social Worker