• Researcher Profile

    Matthew H. Kulke, MD

    Director, Program in Neuroendocrine and Carcinoid Tumors
    Senior Physician

    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Office phone: 617-632-5136
    Fax: 617-632-5370
    Website: Program in Neuroendocrine and Carcinoid Tumors

    Preferred contact method: appointment phone

    View Physician Profile

    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Solid Tumor Oncology


    Gastrointestinal cancers, Neuroendocrine tumors

    Area of Research

    Gastrointestinal Malignancies and Neuroendocrine Tumors

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


    Matthew Kulke joined the staff of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 1997 and is currently a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 

    He received an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine in 1992. He subsequently completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber, and received a masters degree in medical science from Harvard Medical School.

    Dr. Kulke has led numerous clinical and translational studies in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies and neuroendocrine tumors. He has served as study chair for a national study of pancreatic cancer therapies performed by the Cancer and Leukemia group B and funded by the National Cancer Institute.

    His current efforts have focused on clinical and translational research in carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

    Dr. Kulke is the recipient of the George Canellos Award for Clinical Investigation and the Ruth Brufsky Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research. He serves on the advisory board for the European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society, the executive committee of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society, and is chair of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Task force for the National Cancer Institute.

    Recent Awards

    • Ruth Brufsky Award for Excellence in Clinical Research on Pancreatic Cancer, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009
    • George Canellos Award for Contributions to Clinical Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 2003
    • Discovery Fellowship, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 1999-2001
    • Young Investigator Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 1998-1999


    Gastrointestinal Malignancies and Neuroendocrine Tumors

    We have established a robust clinical and translational research program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, focused on neuroendocrine tumors. As part of our clinical research program, we evaluate over 200 neuroendocrine tumor patients annually and have studied numerous novel therapies for neuroendocrine tumor patients.

    Our research has included early studies demonstrating activity of the small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib and the oral alkylating agent temozolomide in patients with neuroendocrine tumors. We are currently evaluating novel combinations of therapeutic agents in neuroendocrine tumors, including regimens of temozolomide/everolimus and pasireotide/everolimus.

    The temozolomide/everolimus combination will be further evaluated and compared to bevacizumab/everolimus or everolimus alone in a planned cooperative group trial, under the auspices of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B.

    The foundation of our translational research efforts in neuroendocrine tumors is a database of clinical information and biospecimens collected prospectively from over 900 neuroendocrine tumor patients, beginning in 2003. We have used this resource to identify predictive and prognostic factors in patients undergoing treatment for neuroendocrine tumors.

    In recent studies, we have identified alkaline phosphatase as a prognostic marker in patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors. We have also been able to utilize our biospecimen collection to demonstrate loss of the DNA repair enzyme MGMT in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, and to correlate MGMT loss with response to temozolomide-based regimens.

    The rapid development of genomic technology has created several new opportunities to better understand the genetic underpinnings of neuroendocrine tumors. Using single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, we confirmed loss of chromosome 18 as a common event in small bowel carcinoid tumors, and identified recurrent amplifications on chromosome 14 in the vicinity of the anti-apoptosis gene DAD1.

    We are now performing studies evaluating the effect of genetic variation in DAD1 and other candidate genes on neuroendocrine tumor risk and outcome.

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