Pancreatic Cancer Hero

Pancreatic Cancer Tumor Donation Program

A gift that drives hope and discovery

Icon for the tissue bank.

Why Consider Giving?

Approximately 45,000 patients are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer annually and, due to their late diagnosis, only a small percentage are eligible for surgery. Since specimen are taken during surgery, tissue specimens from late stage pancreatic cancer are rarely available for research. This leads to a gap in understanding metastatic disease biology. To address this, we created a program to allow patients to donate their tumor remains after death. These donations allow researchers to further study the biology of pancreatic cancer and develop novel treatment methods.
Mature adult hands set in second set of hands

About Your Donation

We recognize that planning for end of life decisions can be difficult. As you begin to make decisions, ask your care team for assistance and resources. To aid in your preparations, research personnel may approach you to discuss this program and answer any questions you may have.  Your participation is completely voluntary.

More Information

What does participation entail?
After enrolling in the program, we coordinate all details with the hospice program and funeral home. After death, remains will be transferred to the Medical College of Wisconsin where a limited autopsy will be performed to store and remove known tumors. Remains will then be transferred to the designated funeral home within 24 hours.
Who can participate?
Pancreatic cancer patients who live within one hour of the Medical College of Wisconsin are potentially eligible to participate.  Ask your doctor for more information.
Is there any benefit to me or my family?
There is no direct benefit to participating. However, future patients might benefit from research completed because of your donation. 

For inquiries, please contact:

Susan Tsai, MD, MHS, FACS
Division of Surgical Oncology