John Hoffman, MD, FACS

John Hoffman, MD, FACS
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Chief, Pancreaticobiliary Service

Professor Emeritus

Marvin S. Greenberg, MD, Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Key Awards

  • Best Doctors in America® 2014
  • Philadelphia Magazine Top Docs, 2009-2014

Treatment Philosophy


I joined Fox Chase in 1986. I entered the field of surgical oncology because it was the field in the mid-1970s that was most interesting to me and the one that needed the most work. When my father developed a metastatic colon cancer in 1978, I was given further motivation to work in this field. This happened when I was in my first year of Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. While there, I took an extra year of training in pancreatic and liver surgery.

My first job after fellowship was as the Director of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Loyola University School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois. After 6 years there, I moved to Fox Chase, where I could concentrate fully on the treatment and the advancement of treatment for cancer. Since that time, I have seen many wonderful advances in the treatment of many cancers.

Much of my time and effort over the past 30 years here have been spent on the development of the treatment for pancreatic cancer. While we still have a long way to go before this scourge is defeated, I can remember when doctors were against any treatment, surgery or other, for pancreatic cancer because it was so hopeless. We now have many different drugs that have activity against the cancer and are in the process of testing which ones are optimal, both in concert with surgical resection, or alone (when resection is neither possible nor feasible). I still see patients from whom I've resected pancreatic cancer 10 to 18 years ago!

Every day at Fox Chase is a pleasure for me. The entire hospital is composed of people who recognize that every patient is a special cancer fighter, and therefore they all are treated as unique individuals. It is this total institutional dedication, as well as my 30 years of cancer treatment experience, that should convince you to let us take care of you.


Follow on Twitter: @FCCCSurgOnc

Educational Background

  • Fellow, Surgical Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 
  • Resident, General Surgery, Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, WA 
  • MD, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 1970 


  • American Board of Surgery


  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
    • Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Panel
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American College of Surgeons

Honors & Awards

  • Best Doctors in America® 2014, 2019-2020, Surgical Oncology
  • Philadelphia Magazine Top Docs, 2009-2014

Research Interests

Translational and clinical research in pancreatic cancer. We have several trials here from looking at basic mechanisms of pancreatic cancer growth and genetic structures to trials in sequencing, types of adjuvant therapies and surgical treatments of pancreatic cancer.

Monsignor Joseph A. Tracy

  • Pancreatic Cancer

When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 46 years old, my goal was just to make it to 50. Even with that short-term goal, I knew the odds were not in my favor.

That was 15 years ago. I’ve made it well past my original goal, and my Fox Chase care team played a huge role in making that possible.

Diagnosing the Problem


Robert Lougheed

  • Pancreatic Cancer

When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I didn't know what my future held. But, after beating cancer, I was inspired to enjoy my life to the fullest. For me, that meant becoming an Elvis Presley tribute artist and giving back through the power of music. 


Toula Aris

  • Breast Cancer

As a cancer survivor of over 20 years and as a mother who lost a daughter to cancer, I can say with certainty that cancer does not discriminate. Prior to my diagnosis, there was no family history of cancer and I always lived a healthy lifestyle, yet this disease affected me. A diagnosis can sneak up on anyone, regardless of how healthy they appear.


Carol Stahl

  • Pancreatic Cancer

I started feeling stomach pain during the Christmas season of 2014, but I felt sure it was related to heartburn. By New Year’s, however, I had developed changes in my urine and bowel movements. When I started researching my symptoms online, I saw that pancreatic cancer matched my symptoms. I quickly scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor, who had previously scheduled blood work for me.