Gastrointestinal Cancer Conditions
Gastrointestinal cancer is the most common and the most fatal of all cancers, yet continues to be dramatically under-funded. This year, 290,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a GI cancer and more than 50% will die within five years. No two tumors are exactly alike.
The Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers at the MedStar Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is a global pioneer, unmatched by any other GI cancer program. Relentlessly fighting a smarter war against GI cancer by partnering with patients based on their unique needs, the Ruesch Center is carrying out cutting-edge, innovative research, and providing the highest standard of care and individualized cures.
Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer includes cancer of the GI tract, which include those organs that digest and draw nutrients from food.
- Small intestine
- Large intestine
GI cancer can also occur in the following, gastrointenstial-related organs:
- Anal canal
- Bile duct
At MedStar Georgetown, we understand how difficult a cancer diagnosis is, and we want you to know, our cancer teams are devoted to your care—from diagnosis to treatment to follow up care, our knowledgeable doctors and nurses will answer any questions you may have and will be with you every step of the way.
Multidisciplinary Approach with a Team of Specialists
- Our highly-specialized surgical oncologists work with specialists renowned in the fields of radiation oncology and chemotherapy.
- Proton Beam Therapy – Uses energy from protons instead of photons, allowing high dose radiation with no exit dose, resulting in fewer side effects than traditional radiation.
- Each patient is evaluated by a team of experts in weekly multidisciplinary tumor board meetings to formulate the best plan of care.
- We offer the whole spectrum of surgical options, from minimally-invasive laparoscopic procedures to complex resections and reconstructions of the gastrointestinal tract.
- We regularly treat even the rarest forms of stomach cancer, such as GIST tumors, and lead the clinical trials that have revolutionized the treatment of this disease.
- Our doctors are experts in intraperitoneal chemotherapy for peritoneal metastases from gastrointestinal cancers, allowing direct contact of cancer-fighting drugs into the abdomen.
Learn more about what makes the Ruesch Center unique.
Gastrointestinal Cancer Care at MedStar Georgetown
At the Ruesch Center, we believe the future of GI cancer treatment hinges on a highly personalized approach to finding the right drugs for the right patients. As an international center of excellence, part of one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers in the country and one of only a few that focuses exclusively on GI cancers, we are working tirelessly by:
- Advancing Science and Research: In the last four years, the Ruesch Center has supported more than 50 clinical trials, with 119 (18%) of our current patients enrolled on a trial. More than 2,000 tissue and blood samples, in combination with clinical data, of GI patients have been stored and are available for use in future cancer research. Learn more about current research and clinical trials.
- Changing Lives and Outcomes: Our nurse navigators, who offer critical medical guidance, support, and direction for patients and their families through the cancer treatment process, have touched the lives of more than 2,800 patients.
- Cultivating Innovators of the Future: Our student summer program has grown from two students in the early years to 14 in the coming summer and engages participants in research and patient care.
- Collaborating and Sharing Insights: The center has established scientific collaborations with over 12 local, national and international partners, including the creation of a Global Alliance, resulting in research papers that have influenced treatment across the globe.
Read more about the types of GI cancers treated at MedStar Georgetown:
Make an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with a GI cancer specialist in Washington, DC, please call our scheduling line.
Awards & Recognitions
National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
Our Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. Award received since 1974.
Meet the Team
Find a GI cancer expert at MedStar Georgetown to meet your individual treatment needs.
Learn more about GI cancer care and support services at MedStar Georgetown:
Cancer Care Patient Resources
- Patient Handbook (PDF)
- Support Services
- Your Healthcare Team
- Hope Connections for Cancer Support - Offers support groups and educational classes for people with cancer and their caregivers.
Awards & Recognitions
Our Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only 47 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. Award received since 1974.
National Accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons
As an CoC-accredited cancer center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases.