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Surgical Oncology Research

The research element of surgical oncology practice is a key to providing the best possible care for patients with complex cancer problems. Research being done today will help improve outcomes for patients in the future. Similarly, your surgical oncologist's contribution to and familiarity with results of past research ensure you receive the best treatment possible today.

As Medical Director of Cancer Research at Legacy Health System I am working on several exciting cancer research initiatives. A cornerstone of this work involves our tumor bank. The first step in enabling research into the differences between tumors is to preserve them in a way that allows a wide variety of tests to be performed on them in the future. The tumor bank enables removed tumors to be permanently stored in a way that will allow future molecular testing. All patient information is carefully protected and samples of tumors are retained only if a patient first provides their written consent.

There is much to be learned about the individual genetic differences between cancers, with the potential to make care more individualized for patients. Our tumor bank has been operational for since 2006 and now has a wide variety of tumors stored in it. Several new scientific collaborations have arisen using specimens from the tumor bank. This research is aimed at increasing our understanding of the mechanisms that allow tumors to survive and grow.


Selected examples of previous research of Dr. Katherine Morris are listed below with link to abstract:

Morris KT, McLaughlin SA, Wright MJ, Giron GL, Sampson MR, Brockway JP, Hurley, KE, Riedel ER, Van Zee KJ. “Prevalence of lymphedema in women with breast cancer 5 years after sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary dissection: objective measurements.”  Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2008 Nov 10;26(32):5213-9. Epub 2008 Oct 6. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, McLaughlin SA, Wright MJ, Sampson MR, Brockway JP, Hurley KE, Riedel ER, Van Zee KJ. “Prevalence of lymphedema in women with breast cancer 5 years after sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary dissection: patient perceptions and precautionary behaviors.” Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2008 Nov 10;26(32):5220-6. Epub 2008 Oct 6. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Busam KJ, Bero S, Patel A, Brady MS. “Primary cutaneous melanoma with regression does not require a lower threshold for sentinel lymph node biopsy.” Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2008 Jan;15(1):316-22. Epub 2007 Nov 15. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Song TJ, Fong Y. "Recent advancements in diagnosis and treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer to the liver." Surgical Oncology. 2006 Nov;15(3):129-34. Epub 2006 Dec 6. (no abstract available)

Morris KT, Busam K, and Brady MS. "Primary Melanoma with Regression: Implications for Management." American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2005 ASCO Annual Meeting Proceedings. Volume 23(16S), 7530. (no abstract available)

Morris KT, Morris AM, Flowers CR, Schmidt WA, Pommier RF, Vetto JT. "Comparing the cost-effectiveness of the triple test score to traditional methods for evaluating palpable breast masses." Medical Care. 2003 Aug;41(8):962-71. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Vetto JT, Petty JK, Lum SS, Schmidt WA, Toth-Fejel S, Pommier RF. "A new score for the evaluation of palpable breast masses in women under age 40." American Journal of Surgery. 2002 Oct;184(4):346-7. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Kavanagh M, Hansen P, Whiteford MH, Deveney K, Standage B. "The rational use of computed tomography scans in the diagnosis of appendicitis." American Journal of Surgery. 2002 May;183(5):547-50. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Johnson NM, Hudson V, Toth-Fejel S, and Pommier RF. "Effects of a commonly used phytoestrogen on hormone sensitive breast cancer: An in vitro study." Pacific Coast Surgical Association, 73rd Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 18th, 2002. (no abstract available)

Morris KT, Toth-Fejel S, Schmidt J, Fletcher WS, Pommier RF. "High dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate predicts breast cancer progression during new aromatase inhibitor therapy and stimulates breast cancer cell growth in tissue culture: a renewed role for adrenalectomy." Surgery. 2001 Dec;130(6):947-53. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Pommier RF, Morris A, Schmidt WA, Beagle G, Alexander PW, Toth-Fejel S, Schmidt J, Vetto Jt. "Usefulness of the triple test score for palpable breast masses; discussion 1012-3." Archives of Surgery. 2001 Sep;136(9):1008-12. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Johnson N, Krasikov N, Allen M, Dorsey P. "Genetic counseling impacts decision for prophylactic surgery for patients perceived to be at high risk for breast cancer."American Journal of Surgery. 2001 May;181(5):431-3. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Stevens JS, Pommier RF, Fletcher WS, Vetto JT. "Usefulness of preoperative lymphoscintigraphy for the identification of sentinel lymph nodes in melanoma." American Journal of Surgery. 2001 May;181(5):423-6. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Marquez CM, Holland JM, Vetto JT. "Prevention of local recurrence after surgical debulking of nodal and subcutaneous melanoma deposits by hypofractionated radiation." Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2000 Oct;7(9):680-4. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Pommier RF, Vetto JT. "Office-based wire-guided open breast biopsy under local anesthesia is accurate and cost effective." American Journal of Surgery. 2000 May;179(5):422-5. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Johnson N, Homer L, Walts D. "A comparison of complementary therapy use between breast cancer patients and patients with other primary tumor sites." American Journal of Surgery. 2000 May;179(5):407-11. (click for abstract)

Morris KT, Pommier RF, and Fletcher WS. "Substantial increase in survival of carcinoid patients with hepatic arterial infusion therapy." American Radium Society, April 2000. (no abstract available)

Morris KT, Horvath KD, Jobe BA, Swanstrom LL. "Laparoscopic management of accessory spleens in immune thrombocytopenic purpura." Surgical Endoscopy.1999 May;13(5):520-2. (click for abstract)






Dr. Morris
Dr. Katherine Morris

Dr. Morris