Faculty
Oncology Division
Alphabetical list (active faculty):   
Patrick M. Grierson

Patrick M. Grierson, MD, PhD

Instructor

Department of Medicine

Oncology Division

Medical Oncology

Clinical Interests

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Colon cancer

Research Interests

  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy

Contact

  • 314-996-3362 (office)
  • 314-747-2797 (fax)
  • Division of Oncology
    Mail Stop 8056-0029-11
    Washington University
    660 South Euclid Avenue
    St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Room 11319F Mid-Campus Center (office)

Research

The clinical application of molecularly targeted therapeutics is transforming the care of many malignancies. However, a limited number of targeted agents have proven effective in gastrointestinal cancers, partially contributed to by a lack of understanding of the underlying tumor biology as well as inter-patient and intra-tumor heterogeneity. Our main research objective is to improve outcomes in these difficult to treat malignancies by identifying novel molecular targets that mediate de novo or acquired resistance to current therapies.

My pre-clinical research focuses on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which is characterized by frequent mutation of the KRAS oncogene, as well as a desmoplastic stroma. Unfortunately, neither targeting of KRAS nor its downstream effectors has produced meaningful clinical benefit, and the benefits of immunotherapy have not yet been realized in this disease. Further, targeting of the desmoplastic stroma has yielded mixed results, thereby leaving cytotoxic chemotherapy as the standard approach to systemic therapy. Therefore, we aim to identify novel molecular targets, either tumor cell intrinsic or extrinsic, to improve survival in this disease with limited therapeutic options. In an effort to identify novel molecular targets, we employ broad in vitro laboratory techniques as well as in vivo genetically-engineered mouse models of pancreas cancer. Using these approaches, our group has identified stress- and inflammation-mediated MAPK signaling pathways in pancreatic cancer that contribute to treatment resistance, with high potential for clinical translation.

Clinically, I focus on the care of patients with diverse gastrointestinal malignancies, with a special interest in translating pre-clinical discoveries of novel therapeutics into early-phase clinical trials.