Co-Chiefs
Raffit Hassan, M.D.
David S. Schrump, M.D.

Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute

Building 10, Room 4-3942
Bethesda, MD 20892-1201
301-496-2128

The Thoracic and Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Branch (TGIB) was established to integrate and synergize multidisciplinary clinical and basic research pertaining to cancers of the lungs and airways, chest cavity (thorax), and gastrointestinal tract. Our team approach to thoracic and gastrointestinal malignancies is designed to hasten the development of novel treatments for a wide range of cancers that affect more than a half million patients per year. These include, but are not limited to, cancers of the lung, thymus, pleura and chest wall, esophagus, stomach, liver, bile ducts, pancreas and intestines. The TGIB is a large branch of NCI that spans the spectrum of basic research, clinical trials and patient care all aimed at better detection, prevention and treatment of patients with these cancers.


Patient Services


As part of our multidisciplinary approach to patient care, we provide a number of natural history and treatment protocols for thoracic and gastrointestinal cancers. For instance, we offer molecular analysis of tumors, targeted drug therapies and innovative surgical procedures. Patients are provided guidance and assistance with appointments, travel, counseling and social support. We believe it is important to collaborate with our patients’ primary care physicians in order to provide expert continuity of care. Before visiting, patients may be asked to provide medical records, disks with scans or x-ray studies, and a list of medications. Important facts for our patients:

  • Consultations are provided at no cost to the patient
  • After a patient is accepted onto a study, treatments and tests performed at NIH are also no cost to the patient
  • NIH does not cover the cost of medical services provided at other facilities
  • We are located in Bethesda, Maryland, approximately 8 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.
  • Our clinics are located in the NIH Clinical Center (Building 10)
  • Visitor information is available at NIH Clinical Center

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions?  Visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You.


Administrative Offices:

David S. Schrump, M.D., Co-Chief
Thoracic and General Surgical Oncology
301-496-2127

Raffit Hassan, M.D., Co-Chief
Medical Oncology
301-594-0911

Patient Referrals

Our oncology nurses, nurse practitioners and patient care coordinators can help you understand the rationale behind our clinical trials. Their knowledge and expertise helps guide patients and their families through our clinical protocols and provides reassurance by carefully explaining treatment plans. When surgery is indicated, state-of-the-art procedures are explained by surgeons with expertise in the field of oncology. Skilled physicians and allied professionals in genetics, nutrition, pharmacology, nuclear imaging, interventional radiology and gastroenterology are all part of the multi-disciplinary management of our patients.


Please visit “Our Clinical Trials” or “Key Staff” for specific contact information.

  • Research Nurses, Nurse Practitioners:
    • Colleen Bond, Tricia Kunst, Cara Kenney, Maureen Connolly, Emerson Padiernos
    • Donna Mabry, Lisa Bengtson, Arlene Berman, Suzanne Fioravanti, Yvonne Mallory, Susan Perry, Linda Sciuto, Melissa Walker.
  • Patient Care Coordinators:
    • Claudia Espinoza, Paul Nolen, Stefanie Carey, Susan Sansone
  • Clinical Fellows:
    • Christine Kariya, Isaac Kriley, Ornela Dervishaj, Parisa Malekzadeh, Paul Feingold, Sadia Ilyas, Winifred Lo, David Chen, Eric Groh, Gabriel Ivey, Stacey Doran, Meghan Good, Adam Cerise, Kaitlin McLoughlin, Mohammad Jafferji, Zachary Brown
  • Staff Scientists, Visiting Fellows and Biologists:
    • Qun Jiang, Firouzeh Korangy, Swati Khanna, Betsy Morrow, Jingli Zhang, Tobias Eggert, Chi Ma, Qiong Fu, Tapan Maity, Abhilash Venugopalan, Elvin Hekimoglu, Julie Hong, Mahadev Rao, Vivek Shukla, Sichuan Xi, Yin Xiong, Mary Zhang, Kate Brown, Deborah Depew, Yuan Xu, Nisan Bhattacharyya, Anand Singh, Li Zhang, Yansong Bian, Dandan Li
  • Data Managers:
    • Tatiana Beresnev, Yvonne Shutack, Tania Guerrero-Amparo
  • Administrative Staff:
    • Lance Redding, Jan Pappas, Joanna Lamot

Research Interests of TGIB Members


Dr. David Schrump is a thoracic surgeon who is internationally recognized for surgical expertise pertaining to lung and esophageal cancers, malignant pleural mesothelioma, chest wall sarcomas and pulmonary metastases. His research efforts are focused on the elucidation of epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in lung and esophageal cancers and malignant pleural mesothelioma, and the development of epigenetic regimens including chromatin remodeling agents and novel tumor vaccines for the treatment of these neoplasms.

Dr. Raffit Hassan is a medical oncologist who heads the medical thoracic oncology program. His laboratory and clinical work is focused on targeting the tumor differentiation antigen mesothelin for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma and other solid tumors.

Dr. Arun Rajan is a medical oncologist whose research interests focus on developing new therapies for thoracic malignancies, especially thymic cancers; he is currently evaluating the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) inhibitor, cixutumumab and the multikinase inhibitor sunitinib in thymomas and thymic cancers.

Dr. Anish Thomas is a medical oncologist whose clinical focus is on evaluation of novel targeted therapies for thoracic malignancies. His translational interests include understanding the evolution of chemotherapy resistance and the use of synthetic lethal approaches involving the DNA damage response pathways in small cell lung cancer.

Dr. Udayan Guha is a medical oncologist who is utilizing proteo-genomic approaches to evaluate signaling pathways altered during pulmonary carcinogenesis, with a focus on mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-driven lung adenocarcinoma.

Dr. Jonathan Hernandez is a surgical oncologist and hepatopancreatobiliary surgeon whose research efforts focus on elucidating the mechanisms through which tumor cells coopt the microenvironment of distant organs to form life-threatening metastases in order to interrupt this process prior to its completion. 

Dr. Jeremy Davis is a surgical oncologist with clinical research interest in tumors of the stomach, pancreas, liver and bile ducts. His research efforts currently are aimed at understanding drivers of metastasis in stomach cancers by examining alterations in cell signaling.

Dr. R. Taylor Ripley is a thoracic surgeon whose research focus is in thoracic surgical oncology and specifically in esophageal cancer.  His other areas of clinical expertise include lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymic malignancies, pulmonary metastasis, and minimally-invasive thoracic surgery.  His laboratory efforts focus on metabolic pathways that lead to the development and progression of esophageal cancers.

Dr. Tim Greten is a medical oncologist whose research efforts focus on restoring anti-tumor immunity by elimination of immune suppressor functions of myeloid-derived suppressor cells, as well as activation of existing tumor-specific T cell responses in the tumor microenvironment of liver tumors and other GI cancers.

Dr. Udo Rudloff is a surgical oncologist with expertise in hepatobiliary malignancies whose laboratory efforts focus on drug development for pancreas cancer using innovative in vitro and in vivo preclinical methods including high-throughput screening and RNAi techniques to characterize mechanisms of resistance to small molecule inhibitors targeting MAPK and PI3K-Akt pathways.

About

The Thoracic and Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Branch (TGIB) was established to integrate and synergize multidisciplinary clinical and basic research pertaining to cancers of the lungs and airways, chest cavity (thorax), and gastrointestinal tract. Our team approach to thoracic and gastrointestinal malignancies is designed to hasten the development of novel treatments for a wide range of cancers that affect more than a half million patients per year. These include, but are not limited to, cancers of the lung, thymus, pleura and chest wall, esophagus, stomach, liver, bile ducts, pancreas and intestines. The TGIB is a large branch of NCI that spans the spectrum of basic research, clinical trials and patient care all aimed at better detection, prevention and treatment of patients with these cancers.

Referrals

Administrative Offices:

David S. Schrump, M.D., Co-Chief
Thoracic and General Surgical Oncology
301-496-2127

Raffit Hassan, M.D., Co-Chief
Medical Oncology
301-594-0911

Patient Referrals

Our oncology nurses, nurse practitioners and patient care coordinators can help you understand the rationale behind our clinical trials. Their knowledge and expertise helps guide patients and their families through our clinical protocols and provides reassurance by carefully explaining treatment plans. When surgery is indicated, state-of-the-art procedures are explained by surgeons with expertise in the field of oncology. Skilled physicians and allied professionals in genetics, nutrition, pharmacology, nuclear imaging, interventional radiology and gastroenterology are all part of the multi-disciplinary management of our patients.


Please visit “Our Clinical Trials” or “Key Staff” for specific contact information.

For Patients


Patient Services


As part of our multidisciplinary approach to patient care, we provide a number of natural history and treatment protocols for thoracic and gastrointestinal cancers. For instance, we offer molecular analysis of tumors, targeted drug therapies and innovative surgical procedures. Patients are provided guidance and assistance with appointments, travel, counseling and social support. We believe it is important to collaborate with our patients’ primary care physicians in order to provide expert continuity of care. Before visiting, patients may be asked to provide medical records, disks with scans or x-ray studies, and a list of medications. Important facts for our patients:

  • Consultations are provided at no cost to the patient
  • After a patient is accepted onto a study, treatments and tests performed at NIH are also no cost to the patient
  • NIH does not cover the cost of medical services provided at other facilities
  • We are located in Bethesda, Maryland, approximately 8 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.
  • Our clinics are located in the NIH Clinical Center (Building 10)
  • Visitor information is available at NIH Clinical Center

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Questions?  Visit NIH Clinical Research Trials and You.


Teams

  • Research Nurses, Nurse Practitioners:
    • Colleen Bond, Tricia Kunst, Cara Kenney, Maureen Connolly, Emerson Padiernos
    • Donna Mabry, Lisa Bengtson, Arlene Berman, Suzanne Fioravanti, Yvonne Mallory, Susan Perry, Linda Sciuto, Melissa Walker.
  • Patient Care Coordinators:
    • Claudia Espinoza, Paul Nolen, Stefanie Carey, Susan Sansone
  • Clinical Fellows:
    • Christine Kariya, Isaac Kriley, Ornela Dervishaj, Parisa Malekzadeh, Paul Feingold, Sadia Ilyas, Winifred Lo, David Chen, Eric Groh, Gabriel Ivey, Stacey Doran, Meghan Good, Adam Cerise, Kaitlin McLoughlin, Mohammad Jafferji, Zachary Brown
  • Staff Scientists, Visiting Fellows and Biologists:
    • Qun Jiang, Firouzeh Korangy, Swati Khanna, Betsy Morrow, Jingli Zhang, Tobias Eggert, Chi Ma, Qiong Fu, Tapan Maity, Abhilash Venugopalan, Elvin Hekimoglu, Julie Hong, Mahadev Rao, Vivek Shukla, Sichuan Xi, Yin Xiong, Mary Zhang, Kate Brown, Deborah Depew, Yuan Xu, Nisan Bhattacharyya, Anand Singh, Li Zhang, Yansong Bian, Dandan Li
  • Data Managers:
    • Tatiana Beresnev, Yvonne Shutack, Tania Guerrero-Amparo
  • Administrative Staff:
    • Lance Redding, Jan Pappas, Joanna Lamot

For Trainees

Our Science


Research Interests of TGIB Members


Dr. David Schrump is a thoracic surgeon who is internationally recognized for surgical expertise pertaining to lung and esophageal cancers, malignant pleural mesothelioma, chest wall sarcomas and pulmonary metastases. His research efforts are focused on the elucidation of epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in lung and esophageal cancers and malignant pleural mesothelioma, and the development of epigenetic regimens including chromatin remodeling agents and novel tumor vaccines for the treatment of these neoplasms.

Dr. Raffit Hassan is a medical oncologist who heads the medical thoracic oncology program. His laboratory and clinical work is focused on targeting the tumor differentiation antigen mesothelin for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma and other solid tumors.

Dr. Arun Rajan is a medical oncologist whose research interests focus on developing new therapies for thoracic malignancies, especially thymic cancers; he is currently evaluating the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) inhibitor, cixutumumab and the multikinase inhibitor sunitinib in thymomas and thymic cancers.

Dr. Anish Thomas is a medical oncologist whose clinical focus is on evaluation of novel targeted therapies for thoracic malignancies. His translational interests include understanding the evolution of chemotherapy resistance and the use of synthetic lethal approaches involving the DNA damage response pathways in small cell lung cancer.

Dr. Udayan Guha is a medical oncologist who is utilizing proteo-genomic approaches to evaluate signaling pathways altered during pulmonary carcinogenesis, with a focus on mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-driven lung adenocarcinoma.

Dr. Jonathan Hernandez is a surgical oncologist and hepatopancreatobiliary surgeon whose research efforts focus on elucidating the mechanisms through which tumor cells coopt the microenvironment of distant organs to form life-threatening metastases in order to interrupt this process prior to its completion. 

Dr. Jeremy Davis is a surgical oncologist with clinical research interest in tumors of the stomach, pancreas, liver and bile ducts. His research efforts currently are aimed at understanding drivers of metastasis in stomach cancers by examining alterations in cell signaling.

Dr. R. Taylor Ripley is a thoracic surgeon whose research focus is in thoracic surgical oncology and specifically in esophageal cancer.  His other areas of clinical expertise include lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymic malignancies, pulmonary metastasis, and minimally-invasive thoracic surgery.  His laboratory efforts focus on metabolic pathways that lead to the development and progression of esophageal cancers.

Dr. Tim Greten is a medical oncologist whose research efforts focus on restoring anti-tumor immunity by elimination of immune suppressor functions of myeloid-derived suppressor cells, as well as activation of existing tumor-specific T cell responses in the tumor microenvironment of liver tumors and other GI cancers.

Dr. Udo Rudloff is a surgical oncologist with expertise in hepatobiliary malignancies whose laboratory efforts focus on drug development for pancreas cancer using innovative in vitro and in vivo preclinical methods including high-throughput screening and RNAi techniques to characterize mechanisms of resistance to small molecule inhibitors targeting MAPK and PI3K-Akt pathways.

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