• 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.

    Select Publications

    • Meyerhardt JA, Catalano PJ, Schrag D, Ayanian JZ, Haller DG, Mayer RJ, Macdonald JS, Benson AB 3rd, Fuchs CS. Association of hospital procedure volume and outcomes in high-risk curatively resected colon cancer. Ann Intern Med 2003;139:649-57.
    • Chan AT, Giovannucci EL, Meyerhardt JA, Schernhammer ES, Curhan GC, Fuchs CS. Long-term use of aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of colorectal cancer. JAMA 2005;294:914-23.
    • Chan AT, Tranah GJ, Giovannucci EL, Hunter DJ, Fuchs CS. Genetic variants in the UGT1A6 enzyme, aspirin use, and the risk of colorectal adenoma. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:457-60.
    • Michaud DS, Skinner HG, Wu K, Hu F, Giovannucci E, Willett WC, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS. Dietary patterns and pancreatic cancer risk in men and women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:518-24.
    • Ogino S, Meyerhardt JA, Cantor M, Brahmandam M, Clark JW, Namgyal C, Kawasaki T, Kinsella K, Michelini AL, Enzinger PC, Kulke MH, Ryan DP, Loda M, Fuchs CS. Molecular alterations in tumors and response to combination chemotherapy with gefitinib for advanced colorectal cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2005;11:6650-6.
    • Chan AT, Giovannucci EL, Schernhammer ES, Colditz GA, Hunter DJ, Willett WC, Fuchs CS. A prospective study of aspirin use and the risk for colorectal adenoma. Ann Intern Med 2004;140:157-66.
    • Schernhammer ES, Kang JH, Chan AT, Michaud DS, Skinner HG, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS. A prospective study of aspirin use and the risk of pancreatic cancer in women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2004;96:22-8.
    • Fuchs CS, Moore MR, Harker G, Villa L, Rinaldi D, Hecht JR. Phase III comparison of two irinotecan (CPT-11) dosing regimens in second-line therapy of metastatic colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol 2003;21:807-14.
    • Earle CC, Kwok A, Gazelle GS, Fuchs CS. Two schedules of second-line irinotecan for metastatic colon carcinoma. Cancer 2004;101:2533-9.
    • Wolpin BM, Hezel AF, Abrams T, Blaszkowsky LS, Meyerhardt JA, Chan JA, Enzinger PC, Allen B, Clark JW, Ryan DP, Fuchs CS. Oral mTOR inhibitor Everolimus in patients with gemcitabine-refractory metastatic pancreatic cancer. J Clin Oncol 2009;27:193-8.
    • Wolpin BM, Meyerhardt BA, Chan AT, Ng K, Chan JA, Wu K, Pollak MN, Giovannucci EL, and Fuchs CS. Insulin, the insulin-like growth factor axis, and mortality in patients with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol 2009;27:176-85.
    • Ng K, Meyerhardt JA, Wu K, Feskanich D, Hollis BW, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and survival in patients with colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(18):2984-91.
    • Chan AT, Ogino S, Fuchs CS. Aspirin use and survival after diagnosis of colorectal cancer. JAMA 2009;302:649-58.
    • Amundadottir L*, Kraft P*, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ*, Fuchs CS*, Petersen GM, Arslan AA, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Gross M, Helzlsouer K, Jacobs EJ, LaCroix A, Zheng W, Albanes D, Bamlet W, Berg CD, Berrino F, Bingham S, Buring JE, Bracci PM, Canzian F, Clavel-Chapelon F, Clipp S, Cotterchio M, de Andrade M, Duell EJ, Fox JW, Jr., Gallinger S, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci EL, Goggins M, Gonzalez CA, Hallmans G, Hankinson SE, Hassan M, Holly EA, Hunter DJ, Hutchinson A, Jackson R, Jacobs KB, Jenab M, Kaaks R, Klein AP, Kooperberg C, Kurtz RC, Li D, Lynch SM, Mandelson M, McWilliams RR, Mendelsohn JB, Michaud DS, Olson SH, Overvad K, Patel AV, Peeters PH, Rajkovic A, Riboli E, Risch HA, Shu XO, Thomas G, Tobias GS, Trichopoulos D, Van Den Eeden SK, Virtamo J, Wactawski-Wende J, Wolpin BM, Yu H, Yu K, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Chanock SJ, Hartge P, Hoover RN. Genome-wide association study identifies variants in the ABO locus associated with susceptibility to pancreatic cancer. Nat Genet 2009;41:986-90.
      *Authors contributed equally.
    • Kulke MH, Lenz HJ, Meropol NJ, Posey J, Ryan DP, Picus J, Bergsland E, Stuart K, Tye L, Huang X, Li JZ, Baum CM, Fuchs CS. Activity of sunitinib in patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:3403-3410.
    • Fuchs CS, Marshall J, Mitchell E, Wierzbicki R, Ganju V, Jeffery M, Schulz J, Richards D, Soufi-Mahjoubi R, Wang B, Barrueco J. Randomized, controlled trial of irinotecan plus infusional, bolus, or oral fluoropyrimidines in first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer: Results from the BICC-C study. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(30):4779-4786.
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