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Aram F. Hezel, M.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 275-5823

Administrative: (585) 275-9484

Office: (585) 275-5823

Fax: (585) 273-1042

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentAccepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments

Patient Care Setting

Cancer

Biography

Serving the University and Rochester community as Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology is a great privilege and honor.

Oncology is a field of work I chose driven by the loss of my grandfather from cancer as a young man, and then later in medical school, as I came to understand the scientific challenges cancer medicine presented and the deep satisfaction of caring for and helping people facing cancer. In particular I found the people I met in the clinics and labs who devoted themselves to this area to be role models and sources of inspiration.

Every patient is different – and so is each cancer. Understanding patients and their families, what is important to them, and providing the best possible care is my goal. While many people face cancer, each person does so with specific concerns, fears and beliefs. I will always do my best to provide the highest quality care, while preserving a patient's dignity.

My areas of special interest include clinical trials with new therapies for gastrointestinal cancers, and understanding the genetics and biology of pancreatic and liver cancers. My clinical specialty, caring for patients with gastro-intestinal cancers, both motivates and informs my research aspirations.

In the course of this work, I have promoted physician-scientist training at multiple levels including through the cancer center and the national cancer research community. Specifically, I have mentored numerous oncology fellows, postdoctoral fellows and PhD candidates, including MD-PhD students. As a physician, researcher and leader at URMC and Wilmot I am committed to enhancing the diversity of our community.

Conditions I Treat

- Esophageal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bowel cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Anal cancer
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)
- Neuroendocrine tumors
- Carcinoid tumors

Professional Background

Dr. Hezel is Chief of its Division of Hematology and Oncology and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, John and Ethel Heselden Professor and has joint appointments as associate professor of biomedical genetics and as associate professor of oncology at the Wilmot Cancer Institute.

Dr. Hezel's research focuses on cancer genetics, animal modelling, and therapeutic development in pancreatic and hepato-biliary tumors and clinical trials in gastro-intestinal malignancies. In biliary tract cancers he has studied how mutations in key oncogenes and tumor suppressors cause cancer to arise and to understand the cells of origin in the liver as well as how liver injury can impact disease. Hezel's clinical focus is on treating patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers including those of the pancreas and liver and on clinical research testing new therapies in gastrointestinal malignancies. His research has appeared in Cancer Research, Cell Reports, Nature, and the British Journal of Cancer among other publications.

Hezel is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, as well as the American Association for Cancer Research, and his work is supported by the National Cancer Institute.

Hezel, a graduate of Vassar College, received his MD from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2000. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Boston followed by fellowship at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Partners Oncology/Hematology Program and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Hezel came to Rochester in 2009 from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School.

Credentials

Specialties

  • Internal Medicine
  • Medical Oncology - American Board of Internal Medicine

Education

2000
MD | SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/2003 - 06/30/2006
Fellowship in Medical Oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute

07/01/2001 - 06/30/2003
Residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

07/01/2000 - 06/30/2001
Internship in at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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Awards

2013
Patient & Family Centered Care Top Performer Award
Location: University of Rochester, American Cancer Society

2013
American Cancer Society Career Development Award

2012
Teacher of the Year Award
Location: University of Rochester, Division of Hematology & Oncology

2011
Teacher of the Year Award
Location: University of Rochester, Division of Hematology & Oncology

2010
Edelman Gardner Research Award
Location: University of Rochester, Wilmot Cancer Center

2007
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician-Scientist Early Career Award

2006
NCI Career Development Award: K08 CA122835-03

2005
PanCAN/ASCO Young Investigator Award

2000
Loretta A. Jordan Award for Research of Neoplastic Disease

2000
Robin Bannerman Memorial Research Award

1999
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowship for Medical Students

1998
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowship

1997
John Harford/American Federation for Aging Research
Location: Medical School Research Fellowship

1996 - 1997
Dean's List for Academic Excellence
Location: SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine

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Clinical Trials

An Open-label, Randomised, Multicentre, Phase III Study of Irinotecan Liposome Injection, Oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil/Leucovorin Versus Nab-paclitaxel Plus Gemcitabine in Subjects Who Have Not Previously Received Chemotherapy for Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

The purpose of this study is to look at the efficacy and safety of Irinotecan liposome injection in combination with other approved drugs used for cancer therapy, namely 5 fluorouracil/leucovorin (5FU/LV) plus oxaliplatin compared to nab-paclitaxel + gemcitabine treatment in improving the overall survival of patients not previously treated for metastatic pancreatic cancer.

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A Phase III Open-Label, Multi-Centre, Randomized Study Comparing NUC-1031 Plus Cisplatin to Gemcitabine Plus Cisplatin in Patients With Previously Untreated Locally Advanced or Metastatic Biliary Tract Cancer

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

NuTide:121 compares NUC-1031 with gemcitabine, both in combination with cisplatin, in patients with previously untreated advanced biliary tract cancer. The primary hypotheses are: The combination of NUC-1031 plus cisplatin prolongs overall survival compared to the gemcitabine plus cisplatin standard of care The combination of NUC-1031 plus cisplatin increases overall response rate compared to the gemcitabine plus cisplatin standard of care

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Randomized Phase II Selection Study of Ramucirumab and Paclitaxel Versus FOLFIRI in Refractory Small Bowel Adenocarcinoma

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

This phase II trial studies how well ramucirumab and paclitaxel or the FOLFIRI regimen (leucovorin calcium, fluorouracil, and irinotecan hydrochloride) work in treating patients with small bowel cancers that have spread extensively to other anatomic sites (advanced) or are no longer responding to treatment (refractory). Ramucirumab is a monoclonal antibody that attaches to and inhibits a molecule called VEGFR-2. This may restrain new blood vessel formation therefore reducing nutrient supply to tumor which may interfere with tumor cell growth and expansion. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as paclitaxel, leucovorin calcium, fluorouracil, and irinotecan hydrochloride work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. Giving Ramucirumab plus paclitaxel or FOLFIRI, may be helpful in treating advanced or refractory small bowel cancers and may help patients live longer.

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Cabozantinib S-malate in Treating Patients With Neuroendocrine Tumors Previously Treated With Everolimus That Are Locally Advanced, Metastatic, or Cannot Be Removed by Surgery (A021602)

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

This randomized phase III trial studies cabozantinib to see how well it works compared with placebo in treating patients with neuroendocrine or carcinoid tumors that have spread to other places in the body (advanced). Cabozantinib is a chemotherapy drug known as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and it targets specific tyrosine kinase receptors, that when blocked, may slow tumor growth.

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Publications

Journal Articles

7/13/2021
Mohamed MR, Kyi K, Mohile SG, Xu H, Culakova E, Loh KP, Flannery M, Obrecht S, Ramsdale E, Patil A, Dunne RF, DiGiovanni G, Hezel A, Burnette B, Desai N, Giguere J, Magnuson A. "Prevalence of and factors associated with treatment modification at first cycle in older adults with advanced cancer receiving palliative treatment." Journal of geriatric oncology.. 2021 Jul 13; Epub 2021 Jul 13.

4/14/2021
Vallejo A, Erice O, Entrialgo-Cadierno R, Feliu I, Guruceaga E, Perugorria MJ, Olaizola P, Muggli A, Macaya I, O'Dell M, Cordoba BR, Ortiz-Espinosa S, Hezel AF, Arozarena I, Lecanda F, Avila MA, Fernández-Barrena MG, Evert M, Ponz-Sarvise M, Calvisi DF, Banales JM, Vicent S. "FOSL1 promotes cholangiocarcinoma via transcriptional effectors that could be therapeutically targeted." Journal of hepatology.. 2021 Apr 14; Epub 2021 Apr 14.

12/1/2020
Väyrynen SA, Zhang J, Yuan C, Väyrynen JP, Dias Costa A, Williams H, Morales-Oyarvide V, Lau MC, Rubinson DA, Dunne RF, Kozak MM, Wang W, Agostini-Vulaj D, Drage MG, Brais LK, Reilly E, Rahma OE, Clancy TE, Wang J, Linehan DC, Aguirre A, Fuchs CS, Coussens LM, Chang DT, Koong AC, Hezel AF, Ogino S, Nowak JA, Wolpin BM. "Composition, spatial characteristics, and prognostic significance of myeloid cell infiltration in pancreatic cancer." Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.. 2020 Dec 1; Epub 2020 Dec 01.

Books & Chapters

2007
Chapter Title: "Stromal biology of pancreatic cancer."
Book Title: Journal of cellular biochemistry
Author List: Chu GC; Kimmelman AC; Hezel AF; DePinho RA
Published By: Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 2007

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