My clinical focus is in the management of gastrointestinal cancers with a primary research focus in pancreatic and colon cancer. I have an interest in translational science with an emphasis of producing clinically relevant research to improve the outcome of our patients with these malignancies.
I have listed a few examples of projects I am currently working on:
- Examining the role of extracellular DNA and DNase in pancreatic cancer. We hypothesize that extracellular tumor DNA and DNase I are involved in promoting tumorgenesis via their effects on the tumor microenvironment. The initial part of this study will be to collect plasma from patients with pancreatic cancer at different time points in the course of their treatment to measure and define levels of extracellular DNA and DNase activity. We then aim to correlate levels with the pathogenesis of this disease and outcome.
- Assist in collecting institutional data on patients with colon adenocarcinoma who have metastatic disease to the liver. There is a subset of patients with colon cancer that have isolated disease to the liver and surgery is indicated to treat both the primary tumor and liver mets. There is a lack of understanding of prognostic biological factors that can predict which patients will respond well to surgery and chemotherapy vs. those that quickly have disease recurrence. We will be collecting tissue from the primary tumor and liver mets and measuring gene expression to gain a better understanding of “escape lesions.”
- Multiple case reports on interesting and rare cancers.