Flavio G. Rocha, M.D., FACS, FSSO

  • Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, School of Medicine
  • Hedinger Chair and Division Head, Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, School of Medicine


Dr. Rocha is a surgical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of liver, pancreas and biliary tumors and disease. In addition, he has expertise in managing upper gastrointestinal cancers and retroperitoneal sarcomas. As a cancer surgeon, he takes particular pride in providing timely, compassionate care for his patients. In addition, he strongly believes in the multidisciplinary management of tumors with colleagues in other oncologic specialties. His research interests are in pancreas cancer and cholangiocarcinoma where he strives to improve outcomes across disease stages.

In his free time, Dr. Rocha enjoys traveling and hiking with his wife, children and golden retriever around the Pacific Northwest. As an avid sports fan, he follows football, basketball and soccer at all levels. Active hobbies include photography, history of science and medicine as well as sampling international culinary arts.

Education and training

    • B.S., 1996, Johns Hopkins University
    • M.D., 2001, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Residency

    • General Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 2009
  • Fellowship

    • Surgical Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, 2011
    • Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, 2011
  • Certifications

    • American Board of Surgery, 2010 original, recertification 2020

Memberships and associations:

  • American College of Surgeons
  • Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
  • North Pacific Surgical Association
  • Pacific Coast Surgical Association
  • Society of Surgical Oncology
  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Southwest Oncology Group
  • Western Surgical Association

Areas of interest

  • Clinical research and translational studies in cholangiocarcinoma
  • Clinical trial development in cholangiocarcinoma
  • Cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract (including liver, bile ducts, pancreas, stomach, small bowel and sarcoma)


Elsevier pure profile

Selected publications

  • Bonds M and Rocha F. Neuroendocrine Tumors. In: Zuckerman R, Wilkinson N, editors. Surgical Oncology for General Surgeon. Surgical Clinics of North America. 2020;100(3):635-48. 
  • Dong DH, Zhang XF, Lopez-Aguilar AG, Poultsides G, Rocha F, Weber S, Fields R, Idrees K, Cho C, Spolverato G, Maithel SK, Pawlik T. Surgical outcomes of patients with duodenal versus pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors following pancreaticoduodenectomy.  J Surg Oncol 2020 (in press)
  • Zhang XF, Xue F, Wu Z, Loprez-Aguilar AG, Poutsides G, Makris E, Rocha F, Kanji Z, Weber S, Fisher A, Fields R, Krasnik B, Idress K, Smith PM, Cho C, Beems M, Lyu Y, Maithel SK, Pawlik T.  Development and validation of a modified 8th AJCC staging system for primary pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Ann Surg 2020 (in press)  
  • Heidsma C, Tsilimigras D, Rocha F, Abbott D, Fields R, Smith P, Poultsides G, Cho C, van Eijk C, van Dijkum E, Maithel S, Pawlik T. Clinical relevance of performing endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle biopsy for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors less than 2 cm. J Surg Oncol 2020 (in press) 
  • Heidsma C, Tsilimigras D, van Dieren S, Rocha F, Abbott D, Fields R, Smith P, Poultsides G, Cho C, Dilhoff M, Lopez-Aguilar A, Kanji Z, Fisher A, Krasnick B, Idrees K, Makris E, Beems M, van Eijk C, Nieveen, van Dijkum E, Maithel S, Pawlik T.  Indications and outcomes of enucleation versus formal pancreatectomy for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.  HPB 2020 (in press) 
  • Rose JB, Edwards AM, Rocha F, Clark C, Alseidi AA, Biehl TR, Lin BS, Picozzi VJ, Helton WA. Sustained CA 19-9 response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in borderline resectable pancreatic cancer predicts progression and survival. Oncologist 2020 (in press) 
  • Heidsma CM, Hyer M, Tsilimigras DI, Rocha F, Abbott DE, Fields R, Smith PM, Poultsides GA, Cho C, Maithel SK, Pawlik TM; Other Members of the US Neuroendocrine Tumor Study Group. Incidence and impact of Textbook Outcome among patients undergoing resection of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: Results of the US Neuroendocrine Tumor Study Group. J Surg Oncol. 2020 Jun;121(8):1201-1208. doi: 10.1002/jso.25900. Epub 2020 Mar 17. PMID: 32185804.
  • Bonds M, Rekman J, Rocha FG*. Central pancreatectomy with pancreaticogastrostomy reconstruction: A brief report and video technique. Am J Surg. 2020 May;219(5):828-830. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.01.037. Epub 2020 Feb 1. PMID: 32057412. 
  • Sahara K, Tsilimigras DI, Moro A, Mehta R, Dillhoff M, Heidsma CM, Lopez-Aguiar AG, Maithel SK, Rocha F, Kanji Z, Abbott DE, Fisher A, Fields R, Krasnick BA, Idrees K, Smith PM, Poultsides GA, Makris E, Cho CS, Beems M, Endo I, Pawlik TM. Long-Term Outcomes after SpleenPreserving Distal Pancreatectomy for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: Results from the US Neuroendocrine Study Group. Neuroendocrinology. 2020 Feb 11. doi: 10.1159/000506399. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32040951
  • Dong DH, Zhang XF, Lopez-Aguiar AG, Poultsides G, Makris E, Rocha F, Kanji Z, Weber S, Fisher A, Fields R, Krasnick BA, Idrees K, Smith PM, Cho C, Beems M, Schmidt CR, Dillhoff M, Maithel SK, Pawlik TM. Tumor burden score predicts tumor recurrence of non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors after curative resection. HPB (Oxford). 2020 Aug;22(8):1149-1157. doi: 10.1016/j.hpb.2019.11.009. Epub 2019 Dec 9. PMID: 31822386.


  • {{ pub.journalAssociation.journal.name.text[0].value }}