Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute Earns National Pancreas Foundation Designation | Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute Earns National Pancreas Foundation Designation

Published: Feb 21, 2024

The Center of Excellence award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to world-class and compassionate care for patients with pancreatic cancer.


Tampa, FL (Feb. 21, 2024) – The National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) has named Tampa General Hospital (TGH) as one of its approved Center of Excellence facilities for pancreatic cancer treatment.


 The NPF chose Tampa General after a rigorous audit review of its multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer, which includes a “whole patient” approach for the best possible outcomes and improved quality of life for patients. Tampa General joins a select group of NPF-approved health care centers throughout the United States.


“As a member of the TGH Cancer Institute, I am very proud that Tampa General’s pancreatic cancer program has been designated as an NPF Center for the treatment of pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Andreas Karachristos, professor and director of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “This achievement would not be possible without the strong support of the hospital leadership and the TGH Cancer Institute’s multidisciplinary approach of caring for our patients. This recognition is a testament to our team’s ongoing commitment to providing the best and most innovative care possible.” Karachristos joined Tampa General and USF Health from the prestigious Fox Chase Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Philadelphia.


Treating pancreatic cancer is an important part of the TGH Cancer Institute’s focus on caring for the whole patient. One of the major challenges is that the condition often goes undetected for a long period of time because signs and symptoms seldom occur until advanced stages. By the time symptoms occur, cancer cells are likely to have spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body, often preventing surgical removal of tumors. According to the America Cancer Society, if diagnosed early, with the cancer limited only to the pancreas, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is up to 44 percent.

“The disease is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and has the highest mortality rate of all cancers, so it needs increased national attention,” said Dr. Eduardo Sotomayor, vice president and executive director, TGH Cancer Institute. “It’s essential that we focus on innovative research to improving diagnosis and treatment, and this NPF designation will only enhance our efforts,’’ he said.

The NPF’s primary mission is to raise and direct funds to worthy research projects in the field of pancreas disease. The NPF is the only foundation that supports research in pancreatic cancer and acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis and pediatric pancreatitis, and has provided more than $5 million to fund pancreatic research. The NPF awards research grants to its affiliated Centers of Excellence. An approved NPF Center must meet the criteria developed by a task force made up of invited subject-matter experts and patient advocates. The criteria include having the required expert physician specialties such as medical oncologists, pancreatic surgeons, radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, interventional radiologists and genetic counselors, along with more patient-focused programs such as survivorship, pain management service and psychosocial support.


“As a member of the oncology department team, I am very proud of this achievement and recognition,” said Dr. Timothy Nywening, assistant professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and Surgical Oncology, Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Surgery. “It serves as an incentive for everyone at Tampa General who focuses on pancreatic disease, and that translates to helping save lives.’’ Nywening joined Tampa General and USF Health in 2022 from the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center.