Photo of Kimberly Perez,  MD

Kimberly Perez, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phone: (617) 632-6492

Kimberly Perez, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


  • Assistant Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Senior Physician, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Research Abstract

My focus is GI Oncology, particularly neuroendocrine diseases, hereditary cancer syndromes, and clinical trial development. I was recruited to DFCI and HMS in October 2015 to provide patient care, conduct clinical research of novel therapies, and participate in teaching/training activities. I am an Assistant Professor at HMS, an Associate Physician at BWH and a Senior Physician at DFCI.

Since joining faculty at HMS, DFCI, and BWH in 2015, I have developed my clinical expertise in the care of patients with neuroendocrine tumors and cancer genetics, as one of the key physicians in our neuroendocrine tumor clinic and Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics and Prevention clinic. In this capacity, my clinical obligations include 5 sessions/week at the outpatient GI Oncology clinic at DFCI and during a sixth clinic session, I see patients in the GI Cancer Genetics and Prevention Clinic at DFCI, evaluating individuals with medical and family histories suggestive of or concerning for GI-related hereditary syndromes. At BWH, I cover the inpatient service 2 weeks/year, which will include supervising and instructing housestaff in care of Medical Oncology patients. I also spend 4 weeks/year as a GI Oncology consultant to the BWH inpatient service. This role involves seeing patients with new or suspected GI oncologic diseases, and also facilitating transfer of care for new GI Oncology patients to the outpatient care setting. As part of my clinical responsibilities, I have integrated supervision and instruction of housestaff which exceeds 50 hours per academic year.

As the pursuits of the Precision Medicine Initiative move forward, the clinical impact of the somatic and germline profile has become much more apparent. Recent analyses demonstrate that clinical response to anti-tumor agents can be influenced by the presence of somatic and germline variants in varied malignancies. The treatment of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is not currently driven by molecular profiles or somatic variants, and therefore, identification of genetic variants linked to neuroendocrine cancer holds the potential to redirect patient care. With the support of the Friends of Dana-Farber, I have assessed the clinical implications of pathogenic somatic and germline variants in small intestine neuroendocrine tumors. Utilizing the DFCI neuroendocrine tumor database, which includes prospectively collected annotated clinical information, correlation with the clinical outcomes of participants with the identified molecular profile. I have a manuscript under review describing similar efforts in malignant pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma. I am currently pursuing similar efforts in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors associated with MEN1 syndrome.

Pheochromocytomas (PHEOs) and paragangliomas (PGLs) are rare NETs, for which few antitumor therapies have been developed. Although most PHEOs/PGLs represent sporadic tumors, up to 35% harbor a germline mutation in hereditary susceptibility genes. I have identified patients with advanced PHEOs/PGLs treated at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, utilizing one of the largest clinically annotated biobanks of NETs. The results of this analysis suggests that the presence of a pathogenic germline mutation in the SDH gene does not convey susceptibility to certain therapeutic agents which is counter to what has been previously published. Based on these findings and the rare nature of this disease, I am currently the co-Chair with a colleague at the National Institute of Health of the first prospective trial for this rare tumor type in which we plan to analyze the role of the germline and somatic profiles with clinical outcomes in patients with advanced PHEOs/PGLs treated with temozolomide and olaparib. The trial activated November 2020 and continues to enroll nationally.

During my time at DFCI, I have also continued my work in clinical protocol development. In 2016, I completed the mandated DFCI course for clinical protocol development and since then I have written three investigator initiated clinical protocols for patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma and one investigator initiated clinical protocol for patients with metastatic carcinoid tumors.

In order to enhance future endeavors in clinical protocol development in pancreatic cancer I have been designated one of two Hale Family Research Center Clinical Investigators and have been invited to a second two-year term. The goals set forth by this position is to further institutional efforts to develop innovative investigator initiated clinical trials for patients with pancreatic cancer in collaboration with the other Hale Center Investigators.

My goal, going forward, is to continue developing such programs—which encourage collaboration across disciplines that will improve patient care—within the Harvard community and beyond.

Publications from Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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  • Williams HL, Dias Costa A, Zhang J, Raghavan S, Winter PS, Kapner KS, Ginebaugh SP, Väyrynen SA, Väyrynen JP, Yuan C, Navia AW, Wang J, Yang A, Bosse TL, Kalekar RL, Lowder KE, Lau MC, Elganainy D, Morales-Oyarvide V, Rubinson DA, Singh H, Perez K, Cleary JM, Clancy TE, Wang J, Mancias JD, Brais LK, Hill ER, Kozak MM, Linehan DC, Dunne RF, Chang DT, Koong AC, Hezel AF, Hahn WC, Shalek AK, Aguirre AJ, Nowak JA, Wolpin BM. Spatially-resolved single-cell assessment of pancreatic cancer expression subtypes reveals co-expressor phenotypes and extensive intra-tumoral heterogeneity. Cancer Res 2022. PubMed
  • Dias Costa A, Väyrynen SA, Chawla A, Zhang J, Väyrynen JP, Lau MC, Williams HL, Yuan C, Morales-Oyarvide V, Elganainy D, Singh H, Cleary JM, Perez K, Ng K, Freed-Pastor W, Mancias JD, Dougan SK, Wang J, Rubinson DA, Dunne RF, Kozak MM, Brais L, Reilly E, Clancy T, Linehan DC, Chang DT, Hezel AF, Koong AC, Aguirre A, Wolpin BM, Nowak JA. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is associated with altered immune cell infiltration and an anti-tumorigenic microenvironment in resected pancreatic cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2022. PubMed
  • Perez K, Kulke MH, Horick NK, Regan E, Graham C, Scheutz S, Stonely D, Enzinger PC, Fuchs CS, Allen JN, Enzinger AC, Clark JW, Chan JA. A Phase II Study of Ziv-Aflibercept in Patients With Advanced Extrapancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors. Pancreas 2022; 51:763-768. PubMed
  • Perez K, Jacene H, Hornick JL, Ma C, Vaz N, Brais LK, Alexander H, Baddoo W, Astone K, Esplin ED, Garcia J, Halperin DM, Kulke MH, Chan JA. SDHx mutations and temozolomide in malignant pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Endocr. Relat. Cancer 2022. PubMed
  • Perez K, Chan J. Medical management of gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 2022; 29:219-224. PubMed
  • Rubinson D, Wolpin BM, Warsofsky IS, Ryan DP, Perez K, Rahma O, Singh H, Yurgelun MB, Shapiro GI, Aguirre AJ, D'Andrea AD, Cleary JM. Durable clinical benefit from PARP inhibition in a platinum-sensitive, BRCA2-mutated pancreatic cancer patient after earlier progression on placebo treatment on the POLO trial: a case report. J Gastrointest Oncol 2021; 12:3133-3140. PubMed
  • Singh H, Perez K, Wolpin BM, Aguirre AJ. Beyond the Front Line: Emerging Data for Maintenance Therapy in Pancreatic Cancer. J Clin Oncol 2021; 39:3199-3206. PubMed
  • Karls S, Gold R, Kravets S, Wang Y, Cheng S, Perez K, Chan J, Jacene H. Correlation of 68Ga-DOTATATE uptake on PET/CT with pathologic features of cellular proliferation in neuroendocrine neoplasms. Ann Nucl Med 2021; 35:1066-1077. PubMed
  • Fishbein L, Del Rivero J, Else T, Howe JR, Asa SL, Cohen DL, Dahia PLM, Fraker DL, Goodman KA, Hope TA, Kunz PL, Perez K, Perrier ND, Pryma DA, Ryder M, Sasson AR, Soulen MC, Jimenez C. The North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society Consensus Guidelines for Surveillance and Management of Metastatic and/or Unresectable Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma. Pancreas 2021; 50:469-493. PubMed
  • Raj N, Zheng Y, Hauser H, Chou J, Rafailov J, Bou-Ayache J, Sawan P, Chaft J, Chan J, Perez K, Rudin C, Tang L, Reidy-Lagunes D. Ribociclib and everolimus in well-differentiated foregut neuroendocrine tumors. Endocr. Relat. Cancer 2021; 28:237-246. PubMed
  • Yuan C, Morales-Oyarvide V, Khalaf N, Perez K, Tabung FK, Ho GYF, Kooperberg C, Shadyab AH, Qi L, Kraft P, Sesso HD, Giovannucci EL, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, Ng K, Fuchs CS, Wolpin BM, Babic A. Prediagnostic Inflammation and Pancreatic Cancer Survival. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2021. PubMed
  • Chittenden A, Haraldsdottir S, Ukaegbu C, Underhill-Blazey M, Gaonkar S, Uno H, Brais LK, Perez K, Wolpin BM, Syngal S, Yurgelun MB. Implementing Systematic Genetic Counseling and Multigene Germline Testing for Individuals With Pancreatic Cancer. JCO Oncol Pract 2021; 17:e236-e247. PubMed
  • Perez K, Kulke MH, Chittenden A, Ukaegbu C, Astone K, Alexander H, Brais L, Zhang J, Garcia J, Esplin ED, Yang S, Da Silva A, Nowak JA, Yurgelun MB, Garber J, Syngal S, Chan J. Clinical Implications of Pathogenic Germline Variants in Small Intestine Neuroendocrine Tumors (SI-NETs). JCO Precis Oncol 2021; 5:808-816. PubMed
  • Raghavan S, Winter PS, Navia AW, Williams HL, DenAdel A, Lowder KE, Galvez-Reyes J, Kalekar RL, Mulugeta N, Kapner KS, Raghavan MS, Borah AA, Liu N, Väyrynen SA, Costa AD, Ng RWS, Wang J, Hill EK, Ragon DY, Brais LK, Jaeger AM, Spurr LF, Li YY, Cherniack AD, Booker MA, Cohen EF, Tolstorukov MY, Wakiro I, Rotem A, Johnson BE, McFarland JM, Sicinska ET, Jacks TE, Sullivan RJ, Shapiro GI, Clancy TE, Perez K, Rubinson DA, Ng K, Cleary JM, Crawford L, Manalis SR, Nowak JA, Wolpin BM, Hahn WC, Aguirre AJ, Shalek AK. Microenvironment drives cell state, plasticity, and drug response in pancreatic cancer. Cell 2021; 184:6119-6137.e26. PubMed
  • Perez K, Chan J. Treatment of Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors. 2019; 12:1045-1053. PubMed
  • Hamada T, Yuan C, Yurgelun MB, Perez K, Khalaf N, Morales-Oyarvide V, Babic A, Nowak JA, Rubinson DA, Giannakis M, Ng K, Kraft P, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Ogino S, Wolpin BM. Family history of cancer, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, and pancreatic cancer risk. Br J Cancer 2019. PubMed
  • Yurgelun MB, Chittenden AB, Morales-Oyarvide V, Rubinson DA, Dunne RF, Kozak MM, Qian ZR, Welch MW, Brais LK, Da Silva A, Bui JL, Yuan C, Li T, Li W, Masuda A, Gu M, Bullock AJ, Chang DT, Clancy TE, Linehan DC, Findeis-Hosey JJ, Doyle LA, Thorner AR, Ducar MD, Wollison BM, Khalaf N, Perez K, Syngal S, Aguirre AJ, Hahn WC, Meyerson ML, Fuchs CS, Ogino S, Hornick JL, Hezel AF, Koong AC, Nowak JA, Wolpin BM. Germline cancer susceptibility gene variants, somatic second hits, and survival outcomes in patients with resected pancreatic cancer. Genet Med 2018. PubMed
  • Aguirre AJ, Nowak JA, Camarda ND, Moffitt RA, Ghazani AA, Hazar-Rethinam M, Raghavan S, Kim J, Brais LK, Ragon D, Welch MW, Reilly E, McCabe D, Marini L, Anderka K, Helvie K, Oliver N, Babic A, Da Silva A, Nadres B, Van Seventer EE, Shahzade HA, St Pierre JP, Burke KP, Clancy TE, Cleary JM, Doyle LA, Jajoo K, McCleary NJ, Meyerhardt JA, Murphy JE, Ng K, Patel AK, Perez K, Rosenthal MH, Rubinson DA, Ryou M, Shapiro GI, Sicinska E, Silverman SG, Nagy RJ, Lanman RB, Knoerzer D, Welsch DJ, Yurgelun MB, Fuchs CS, Garraway LA, Getz G, Hornick JL, Johnson BE, Kulke MH, Mayer RJ, Miller JW, Shyn PB, Tuveson DA, Wagle N, Yeh JJ, Hahn WC, Corcoran RB, Carter SL, Wolpin BM. Real-time genomic characterization of advanced pancreatic cancer to enable precision medicine. 2018. PubMed