High volume, specialty centres

love medicineAnyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer should have their case reviewed at a cancer centre where a specialty team assesses and treats the disease. Patients may not have to attend the specialty centre as tests and investigations are often done at local hospitals, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment can be given there too. Wherever a patient is treated, the specialty centre should always be involved in assessment and treatment decisions.

If surgery is an option, then it should only take place in specialty  centres; this is to ensure a team of surgeons works with a high volume of pancreatic cancer patients. Research has shown that patients do better from having surgery in high-volume, expert centres in terms of reduced morbidity (complications) and improved survival.

Your doctor can answer any questions you may have about which specialty centre is involved in your care and explain the decisions made by the specialist team.

Local hospitals may not always be involved in running clinical trials or offer all the trials available at the specialist centre, so patients taking part in clinical trials may also have their treatment at the specialty centre.

Who will I be treated by at a specialty centre?

You will be cared for by several different healthcare experts, known as a multidisciplinary team (MDT).

Once all your investigations have been carried out your specialist team will meet to discuss the results with their colleagues. This MDT meeting may include specialist surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiologists, oncologists, pathologists, nurse specialists, and a dietitian. Everyone will use their expert knowledge to review your case and agree on the best treatment options for you.

You will be given a main contact, who will usually be a specialist nurse (either a hepatobiliary or upper gastrointestinal cancer nurse specialist). It's their role to report back to you from the MDT and they will be the person you liaise with most.

surgery banner

Cancer Treatment Centres across Canada

Western Canada



Eastern Canada


High volume surgical centres across Canada

If you are eligible for surgery, you should have it done at a centre that does a lot of these complicated procedures. Some provinces have designated these centres as the places that should be performing pancreatic surgery, some have not. In Ontario, Cancer Care Ontario has given the designation to a limited number of hospitals that perform at least 20 pancreatic procedures a year, and have at least two surgeons qualified to do them. Other provinces use different criteria. 

Atlantic Provinces

Victoria General Hospital - Halifax, N.S.

Saint John Regional Hospital - Saint John, NB



CHOM - Centre Hospitalier de L'Université de Montréal
Montréal, QC

McGill University Hospital Centre (MUHC) - (Affiliated with Montreal General Hospital and Royal Victoria Hospital)
Montréal, QC

Jewish General Hospital (affiliated with McGill) -
Montréal, QC

CHEQ - Centre Hospitalier de Québec
Québec City, QC



University Health Network - Toronto, ON

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre - Toronto, ON

London Health Sciences Centre - London, ON

The Ottawa Hospital - Ottawa, ON

Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation - Hamilton, ON

St. Joseph’s Health Centre  - Toronto, ON

Trillium Health Centre -Mississauga, ON

Grand River Hospital - Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

Kingston General Hospital - Kingston, ON



Cancer Care Manitoba (this is a hospital as well
as an agency) - Winnipeg, MN



Regina General Hospital - Regina, SK

Royal University Hospital - Saskatoon, SK



The University of Alberta Hospital - Edmonton, AB

The Tom Baker Cancer Centre -  Calgary, AB


British Columbia

Vancouver General Hospital - Vancouver, BC

Kelowna General Hospital - Kelowna, BC

Victoria General Hospital - Victoria, BC

Royal Columbian Hospital - New Westminster, BC





Powered by Convio