Flavio Rocha, MD

Flavio Rocha MD
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am surgical oncologist with a both a clinical and research focus in tumors of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas. I serve as the Division Head of Surgical Oncology at Oregon Health and Science University and Physician-in-Chief of the Knight Cancer Institute, both in Portland, OR. In my spare time, I like to travel and take photographs particularly in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my family and golden retriever. Originally from Brazil, I do enjoy the beach and am an avid soccer fan.
Can you share one or two of your specific research interests?
My interests lie in biomarker discovery and validation for pancreatobiliary cancers. Their use for early detection, response to therapy and prognostic evaluation can help us improve our treatment modalities. I am also heavily involved in the NCTN Cooperative Groups in order to help design and execute novel therapeutic trials particularly in the localized space.
Why did you decide to specialize in hepatobiliary cancers?
As a trainee, I was attracted to the complexities of the anatomy and physiology of the liver and pancreas. These were also the most challenging operations to perform and master in the abdomen. Lastly, I felt this was a disease where I could perhaps make the most impact.
Can you describe one of the unforgettable moments in your patients care or research that has impacted your career?
I am always amazed by the courage of my patients, particularly in the face of adversity.
Can you tell us one thing collaboration with colleagues could accomplish that you could not accomplish on your own?
The neoadjuvant chemotherapy trial for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is a great example of an ICRN effort that could not have been accomplished in any one institution.
If you had access to one resource that would move your research forward, what would that resource be?
We are always looking for funding and also to be able to expand clinical trials abroad, particularly in Asia.
How did you learn about the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation?
I was fortunate to receive the inaugural ASCO Young Investigator Award sponsored by the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. This initial support lead to my ability to dedicate my career to the field.
Can you tell us why you became a member of the ICRN?
In order to connect with my fellow colleagues around the country and the world especially those in different oncologic specialties. We have been able to perform studies, launch efforts and complete clinical trials with the dedication and support of the ICRN.