James J Farrell MD

Associate Professor of Medicine (Digestive Diseases); Director, Yale Center for Pancreatic Diseases

Research Interests

Pancreatic Cancer Early Diagnosis; Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms, Pancreatic Biomarkers, Personalized Medicine, Pancreatic Disease, Gastrointestinal Oncoloy

Extensive Research Description

Dr Farrell has leveraged his clinical expertise and activities as a practicing clinical gastroenterologist, board certified clinical pharmacologist, and interventional endoscopist to create a successful clinical and translational research program focused on pancreatic cancer in the areas of early pancreatic cancer diagnosis, pancreatic cystic neoplasms and pancreatic cancer therapeutics and pharmacogenomics.

1. Early Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

In addition to studying potential salivary transcriptomic and bacterial biomarkers for early detection in pancreatic cancer, he was the UCLA-PI for CAPS3 and the Yale_PI for CAPS5, large prospective multicenter pancreatic cancer screening studies in at-risk individuals, and a member of the International Pancreatic Cancer Screening Consortium.

2. Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms

Dr Farrell’s clinical and translational research work in the field of pancreatic cystic neoplasms has ranged from studies validating current clinical guidelines, to the development of clinically useful nomograms for patients with pancreatic cysts, to studies aimed at identifying novel pancreatic cyst fluid proteomic and microRNA biomarkers. To this end, he initiated and maintain a pancreatic cyst fluid biobank (2001 to present) which has now over 400 patient pancreatic cyst fluid specimens with clinical and pathologic correlation.

3. Pancreatic Cancer Therapeutics and Personalized Medicine

Most recently, Dr Farrell’s work in the field of pancreatic cancer therapeutics has included exploration of Endoscopic ultrasound guided tumor injection with gene therapy as well as the development and validation of treatment predictive pharmacogenomic markers in pancreatic cancer. In addition to his work looking at SNPs as predictive markers of treatment response and toxicity, in collaboration with the RTOG Co-operative trials group, he validated hENT1 (human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1) as a predictive marker of gemcitabine responsivity in pancreatic cancer. This has directly led to the development of a commercially available hENT1 based tissue assay and the first hENT1 biomarker driven multicenter treatment trial in pancreatic cancer.

Selected Publications

  • Farrell JJ, Elsaleh H, Garcia M, Lai R, Ammar A, Regine W, Abrams R, Bowen Benson A, Macdonald J, Cass CA, Mackey JA..Human ENT1 is predictive of response to gemcitabine treatment in patients with pancreatic cancer: Results from the RTOG 9704 Prospective Randomized Trial. Gastroenterology 2009 Jan;136(1):187-95
  • Weinberg B, Spiegel B, Tomlinson J, Farrell JJ. Asymptomatic Pancreatic Cysts: Maximizing Survival and Quality of Life using Markov-based Clinical Nomograms Gastroenterology 2010Feb;138(2):531-40
  • Farrell JJ Garcia M, Elshimali YI, Guha C, Dicker A, Elsaleh H Cytidine Deaminase Single Nucleotide Polymorphism is Predictive of Toxicity from Gemcitabine in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer. The Pharmacogenomics Journal 2011 May 31
  • Farrell JJ, Hecht, JR; Senzer N, Nemunaitis J, Rosemurgy A, Chung T, Hanna N, Chang K, Javle M, Posner M, Waxman I, Reid A, Erickson R, Canto M, Chak A, Blatner G, Kovacevic M, Thornton M. A Phase I/II, Endoscopic ultrasound or Percutaneous Intratumoral TNFerade Biologic with 5-FU and Radiation Therapy for First-Line Treatment of Unresectable Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer. Gastrointest Endosc. 2012 Feb;75(2):332-8.
  • Farrell JJ, Zhang L, Zhou H, Chia D, Elashoff D, Akin D, Paster BJ, Joshipura K ,Wong DT. Variations of oral microbiota are associated with pancreatic diseases including pancreatic cancer. Gut. 2011 Oct 12
  • Canto MI, Hruban RH, Fishman E, Kamel IR, Schulick R, Zhang Z, Topazian M, Takahashi N, Petersen G, Klein AP, Axilbund J , Griffin C, Syngal S, Saltzman J, Mortele K, Lee J, Tamm E, Vikram R, Bliss S, Margolis D, Farrell JJ, Goggins M. Screening for prevalent early pancreatic neoplasia in high risk individuals: A prospective multicenter blinded study of EUS, CT and MRI.( Gastroenterology, 2012)
  • Farrell JJ, Fernandez-del Castillo C. Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms: Management and Unanswered Questions. Gastroenterology. 2013 Jun;144(6):1303-15
  • Farrell JJ, Toste P, Wu N, Li L, Wong J, Malkhassian D, Tran LM, Wu X, Li X, Dawson D, Wu H, Donahue TR. Endoscopically Acquired Pancreatic Cyst Fluid MicroRNA 21 and 221 Are Associated With Invasive Cancer. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jun 11

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