Clinical Programs

Focused on pancreatic care, the Brenden-Colson Center develops and collaborates with OHSU clinical programs to help advance care for patients with all forms of pancreatic disease.

Key to the Center efforts is a pancreatic cancer clinical research group. This is one of the most robust and comprehensive multidisciplinary pancreatic cancer groups in the Pacific Northwest. As part of this group (and in concert with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute) our clinicians care for more than 260 pancreatic cancer patients per year and perform more than 120 pancreatic cancer surgeries annually. The team meets regularly to review and discuss patient pancreatic cancer cases, and our Pancreas Translational Tumor Board connects current patients with cutting-edge research findings. We also participate in an active clinical trials program to rapidly develop and launch novel clinical trials for pancreatic cancer patients with all stages of pancreatic cancer.

In addition, a Pancreatic Cancer High Risk Clinic is offered for patients and/or family members of patients who may be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Patients are followed long-term and may elect to participate in early detection research. Patients served by this clinic include those with family histories of pancreatic cancer or known mutations that predispose them to developing pancreatic cancer.

Similarly, OHSU's multidisciplinary Pancreatitis Clinic and Inpatient Team cares for our patients with acute and chronic pancreatitis. Specialists work together to provide seamless, cohesive care.

Finally, the Brenden-Colson Center is spearheading a multidisciplinary Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Autologous Transplantation program in collaboration with the Digestive Health Center and the Department of Surgery. This procedure has been shown to eliminate pain in up to 80% of chronic pancreatitis sufferers and allows patients to remain insulin independent despite the removal of their pancreas. There are only a handful of hospitals throughout the country that offer the procedure, and the program at OHSU will be one of only three west of the Mississippi.

Please note that the Brenden-Colson Center is not a clinical provider; all inquiries and referrals regarding health care should be directed to the Digestive Health Center or your primary care provider.

Pancreatic disease today

  • Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., and recent data projects that it will be the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2020.
  • Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. Ninety-four percent of patients will die within five years of diagnosis.
  • In 2012 acute pancreatitis was the most common reason for hospitalization of all GI diseases including cancer.
  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis are severely painful conditions with a heavy human and economic toll. These conditions may often give rise to diabetes and will increase the risk for pancreatic cancer.
  • Cachexia (physical wasting and malnutrition) is present in up to 80% of patients with pancreatic cancer and is associated with reduced survival, more progressive disease, and higher rates of metastatic disease.

Source: American Cancer Society

Did You Know? Video Series For more information about pancreatic cancer statistics, view a short video from the NIH Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program data (select Pancreatic Cancer from the "Choose a video" pull-down menu).