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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



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.



  • Internal Medicine
  • Medical Oncology


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

American Cancer Society Career Development Award

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

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

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

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician-Scientist Early Career Award

NCI Career Development Award: K08 CA122835-03

PanCAN/ASCO Young Investigator Award

Loretta A. Jordan Award for Research of Neoplastic Disease

Robin Bannerman Memorial Research Award

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowship for Medical Students

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Training Fellowship

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

A Randomized, Phase 3 Study of Eryaspase in Combination With Chemotherapy Versus Chemotherapy Alone as 2nd-Line Treatment of Patients With Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

The drug, Eryaspase, is made of L-asparaginase placed inside donor-derived red blood cells. It is designed to target the modified asparagine and glutamine metabolism of cancer cells. This is an open-label, multicenter, randomized, Phase 3 study in patients with ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (pancreatic cancer) who have failed only one prior line of anti-cancer therapy.

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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 S-malate to see how well it works compared with placebo in treating patients with neuroendocrine tumors that have spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes, have spread to other places in the body, or cannot be removed by surgery after previous treatment with everolimus. Cabozantinib S-malate 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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Gemcitabine Hydrochloride and Cisplatin With or Without Nab-Paclitaxel in Treating Patients With Newly Diagnosed Advanced Biliary Tract Cancers (S1815),

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

This phase III trial studies how well gemcitabine hydrochloride and cisplatin - given with or without nab-paclitaxel - work in treating patients with newly diagnosed biliary tract cancers that have spread to other places in the body. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as gemcitabine hydrochloride, cisplatin, and nab-paclitaxel, 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. It is not known if giving gemcitabine hydrochloride and cisplatin with or without nab-paclitaxel may work better at treating biliary tract cancers.

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Phase 1A/1B Dose Escalation and Expansion Study of SBP-101 in Combination With Nab-Paclitaxel and Gemcitabine in Subjects With Previously Untreated Metastatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma,Phase 1A/1B Dose Escalation and Expansion Study of SBP-101 in Combination With Nab-Paclitaxel and Gemcitabine in Subjects With Previously Untreated Metastatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

This is an open-label phase 1A/1B study to assess the safety, tolerability, and movement throughout the body (pharmacokinetics) of SBP-101 when combined with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine in patients with previously untreated pancreatic cancer (metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma) and to identify a recommended phase 2 dose. The study will also assess preliminary efficacy of the 3-drug treatment combination.

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CGIC-13038~N1048: A Phase II/III trial of Neoadjuvant FOLFOX, with Selective Use of Combined Modality Chemoradiation versus Preoperative Combined Modality Chemoradiation for Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer Patients Undergoing Low Anterior Resection with Total Mesorectal Excision

Lead Researcher: Aram F Hezel

The standard treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer involves chemotherapy and radiation, known as 5FUCMT, (the chemotherapy drugs, 5-fluorouracil/capecitabine and radiation therapy) prior to surgery. This results in high rates of disease control with significant side effects. The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of the standard treatment of chemotherapy and radiation to chemotherapy alone. The aim of this study is to determine if we can reduce the side effects while still controlling the disease. The chemotherapy alone is the combination regimen known as FOLFOX, (the drugs 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), oxaliplatin and leucovorin). Depending on the response to FOLFOX you may also receive the standard treatment 5FUCMT. The drugs used in this study are all FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved for the treatment of colorectal cancer. The use of FOLFOX chemotherapy alone in place of 5FUCMT is experimental. In case FOLFOX chemotherapy alone does not work, you will receive standard treatment which is 5FUCMT followed by surgery.

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Journal Articles

Du C, da Silva A, Morales-Oyarvide V, Dias Costa A, Kozak MM, Dunne RF, Rubinson DA, Perez K, Masugi Y, Hamada T, Brais LK, Yuan C, Babic A, Ducar MD, Thorner AR, Aguirre A, Kulke MH, Ng K, Clancy TE, Findeis-Hosey JJ, Chang DT, Hornick JL, Fuchs CS, Ogino S, Koong AC, Hezel AF, Wolpin BM, Nowak JA. "Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor expression and disease recurrence and survival in patients with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma." Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology.. 2020 May 28; Epub 2020 May 28.

Chung KM, Singh J, Lawres L, Dorans KJ, Garcia C, Burkhardt DB, Robbins R, Bhutkar A, Cardone R, Zhao X, Babic A, Vayrynen SA, Dias Costa A, Nowak JA, Chang DT, Dunne RF, Hezel AF, Koong AC, Wilhelm JJ, Bellin MD, Nylander V, Gloyn AL, McCarthy MI, Kibbey RG, Krishnaswamy S, Wolpin BM, Jacks T, Fuchs CS, Muzumdar MD. "Endocrine-Exocrine Signaling Drives Obesity-Associated Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma." Cell.. 2020 Apr 16; Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Li F, Nielsen G, Baran A, Hu J, Wallace D, Preslar M, Fleming F, Temple L, Dunne RF, Noel M, Hezel AF, Tejani MA. "Adjuvant Chemotherapy Use in Patients With Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer: A Single-Institution Experience." Clinical colorectal cancer.. 2020 Apr 14; Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Books & Chapters

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