For Patients

Patient Care

Digestive system cancers account for the largest number of new cancer diagnoses in the United States. Our team is working on novel approaches to the surgical treatment of patients with foregut cancers (cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract), as well as colorectal cancers. Patients with liver, bile duct, gallbladder, pancreatic and colon or rectal cancer are encouraged to reach out to our team about possible clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Our team specializes in the study and treatment of gastrointestinal tract cancers. We are currently evaluating patients with:

  • Colon Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Gallbladder Cancer
  • Bile Duct Cancer

All our patients receive individualized, high-quality care at the NIH Clinical Center, America’s research hospital, located in Bethesda, Maryland, the NIH Clinical Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of cancer are you studying?

Our team is studying cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. We have open trials for patients with colon cancer that has metastasized to the liver, and for patients with operable pancreatic cancer and cholangiocarcinoma. Visit "Find a Clinical Trial" to view all of our clinical trials.

Who can participate?

There are many different factors that might qualify you for one of our clinical trials. The best way to find out if you can participate is to reach out to us directly. Our contact information can be found by clicking the "Contact Us" link.

Who will be involved in my care while participating in a clinical trial?

You will be seen by the National Cancer Institute experts in cancers of the foregut (upper gastrointestinal tract, including pancreas, liver and bile ducts), as well as colorectal cancer. The team includes surgical oncologists (surgeons), medical oncologists, gastroenterologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and research support staff. We would like to stress that it is not our intention to take over your care from your primary physician. However, the number of experts from different fields who are thinking about the specifics of your medical history may allow us to make recommendations to your treating physician, with the goal of improving your health. Additionally, you will have the chance to interact with other patients and families.

Will this research benefit others?

The contribution that your visit to the NIH Clinical Center will make to the care of others cannot be emphasized enough. Our philosophy is that the opportunity to evaluate patients with foregut and colorectal cancers will help the medical community understand the mechanisms that underlie these diseases. We will have the opportunity to compile details of your history, response to prior treatments, radiographic assessments and molecular studies. Your data will be used to help guide other patients facing similar problems during the course of their disease.

How much does it cost to participate in a clinical trial?

We are the nation's federally funded cancer center, making treatment free to those receiving care at the NIH Clinical Center.

Does Dr. Hernandez offer standard of care surgeries?

Under certain circumstances on our tissue protocol we are able to perform standard of care operations and collect tumor samples for research.

Educational Resources for Our Patients:

Learn more about gastrointestinal tract (G.I.) cancers through patient and healthcare professional resources from the National Cancer Institute.

Find a Clinical Trial

View a list of the clinical trials, led by Dr. Jonathan Hernandez, that are currently recruiting patients. 

Patient's hands (iStock)

Dr. Hernandez with a patient