• Researcher Profile

    Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH

    Director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Center
    Institute Physician

    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Office phone: 617-632-5840
    Fax: 617-632-5370

    Preferred contact method: office phone

    View Physician Profile

    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Solid Tumor Oncology


    Gastrointestinal cancers, Gastric cancer

    Area of Research

    Studies in Epidemiology and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancers

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Dana 1220
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Fuchs is Director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also leads the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center Gastrointestinal Malignancies Program and the DF/HCC SPORE Grant in Gastrointestinal Cancers, and he is the extramural leader for the NCI-sponsored Genome-Wide Association Study in Pancreatic Cancer (PanScan). Dr. Fuchs splits his time between laboratory-based research, clinical research, and clinical care. His laboratory focuses on biochemical markers of gastrointestinal cancer risk, molecular predictors of patient prognosis in colorectal and pancreatic cancers, and the discovery of novel targets for cancer therapy. Dr. Fuchs has also led numerous national and international clinical trials assessing novel targeted therapies for GI malignancies. Dr. Fuchs is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer and a cadre member of GI Committee for Cancer and Leukemia Group B. Dr. Fuchs has over 270 scientific publications in such journals as The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cell, and Nature.

    Recent Awards

    • Lee Nadler Extra Mile Award, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 2007
    • Tisch Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 2007
    • George P. Canellos Award for Excellence in Clinical Investigation and Patient Care, DFCI, 1999
    • Academic Award, Preventive Oncology, National Institutes of Health, 1995
    • Emil Frei Clinical Investigator Award, DFCI, 1995


    Studies in Epidemiology and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancers

    Improvements in the prevention and therapy of gastrointestinal malignancies require a better understanding of the risk factors and biology of these diseases. Furthermore, progress in the treatment of these cancers requires the introduction of novel therapeutics and new combinations of therapeutics into clinical trials. We are actively assessing prevention and treatment of esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, colorectal, hepatocellular, and other gastrointestinal cancers. Studies in both prevention and treatment are likely to offer new therapeutics for these diseases as well as a more fundamental understanding of cancer biology.

    Prevention of gastrointestinal cancers

    In collaboration with investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, we are studying risk factors for a variety of gastrointestinal cancers using data from two large cohorts: the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. These studies include more than 170,000 men and women who have provided extensive information on their diet, other lifestyle factors, and medical histories. We are also collecting blood samples from these individuals and tumor specimens from those participants who are diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers. These databases have proved invaluable in understanding the risk factors and means of prevention of gastrointestinal cancers.

    Molecular epidemiology of gastrointestinal cancers

    Using the tumor specimens collected from the participants in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we will be looking at a variety of molecular and genetic alterations in these tumors to assess the role of various risk factors in causing these molecular alterations. Furthermore, we will look at the influence of the molecular alterations on the prognosis of patients diagnosed with these cancers. These findings will allow us to better understand the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and define better chemopreventive agents for gastrointestinal cancers.

    Treatment studies of gastrointestinal cancers

    We are conducting phase I, II, and III clinical trials assessing novel treatments for patients with different gastrointestinal cancers. These trials will allow us to better define more effective therapies and give us the tools to provide outstanding care for our patients.

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