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Edward E. Whang, MD
Associate Surgeon, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Department of Surgery
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115

Research Narrative:

My laboratory research focuses on pancreatic adenocarcinoma.  Among the deadliest of all human malignancies, pancreatic cancer is associated with the propensity for metastasis and resistance to therapeutic interventions.  Our goal has been to develop strategies for inhibiting metastasis and chemoresistance in patients with pancreatic cancer.  This work has led to the identification of novel effectors (eg, CEACAM6) that promote both metastasis and chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer cells.  We have shown that targeted therapy directed at CEACAM6 increases anticancer efficacy of the chemotherapeutic agent gemcitabine, inhibits metastasis, and prolongs survival in a preclinical model of pancreatic cancer.  Further, using samples derived from patients having undergone surgical resection of pancreatic cancers at BWH, we have shown that CEACAM6 is abundantly expressed in > 90% of human pancreatic adenocarcinomas and that patients with CEACAM6-expressing cancers have significantly shorter postoperative survival durations than those with CEACAM6-negative cancers.  These findings subsequently have been confirmed by others and have been shown to be of relevance to a broad range of cancers (not just pancreatic cancer).  Additional work has focused on characterizing mechanisms of action of CEACAM6 and on identification of other mediators of metastasis and chemoresistance in pancreatic cancer.

Clinical research projects relate to surgical therapy for benign and malignant conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.  This work has been based on database reviews, decision analysis, and one RCT. 


Publications (Pulled from Harvard Catalyst Profiles):

1. Lyu HG, Sharma G, Brovman E, Ejiofor J, Repaka A, Urman RD, Gold JS, Whang EE. Risk Factors of Reoperation After Pancreatic Resection. Dig Dis Sci. 2017 Mar 24.

2. Swain JD, Sharma G, Rumma RT, Fisichella PM, Whang E. A Century of Surgical Innovation at a Boston Hospital. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2017 Feb; 27(2):156-161.

3. Shapiro M, Chen Q, Huang Q, Boosalis VA, Yoon CH, Saund MS, Whang EE, Gold JS. Associations of Socioeconomic Variables With Resection, Stage, and Survival in Patients With Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer. JAMA Surg. 2016 Apr; 151(4):338-45.

4. Sutherland T, David-Kasdan JA, Beloff J, Mueller A, Whang EE, Bleday R, Urman RD. Patient and Provider-Identified Factors Contributing to Surgical Readmission After Colorectal Surgery. J Invest Surg. 2016 Aug; 29(4):195-201.

5. Wu A, Brovman EY, Whang EE, Ehrenfeld JM, Urman RD. The Impact of Overestimations of Surgical Control Times Across Multiple Specialties on Medical Systems. J Med Syst. 2016 Apr; 40(4):95.

6. Sharma G, Whang EE, Ruan DT, Ito H. Efficacy of Neoadjuvant Versus Adjuvant Therapy for Resectable Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: A Decision Analysis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Dec; 22 Suppl 3:S1229-37.

7. Shapiro M, Rashid NU, Whang EE, Boosalis VA, Huang Q, Yoon C, Saund MS, Gold JS. Trends and predictors of resection of the primary tumor for patients with stage IV colorectal cancer. J Surg Oncol. 2015 Jun; 111(7):911-6.

8. Shapiro M, Rashid NU, Huang Q, Galper SL, Boosalis VA, Whang EE, Gold JS. Radiation therapy for unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma: population-based trends in utilization and survival rates in the United States. JAMA Surg. 2015 Mar 01; 150(3):274-7.

9. Gold JS, Al Natour RH, Saund MS, Yoon C, Sharma AM, Huang Q, Boosalis VA, Whang EE. Population-based outcome of stage IA-IIA resected gastric adenocarcinoma: who should get adjuvant treatment? Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Jul; 20(7):2304-10.

10. Lin CI, Whang EE, Lorch JH, Ruan DT. Autophagic activation potentiates the antiproliferative effects of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in medullary thyroid cancer. Surgery. 2012 Dec; 152(6):1142-9.