Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., FACS

Research Interests

My research interests are in the early detection and primary and secondary prevention of colorectal cancer. This is inclusive of establishing a program where individuals from high risk cancer families can undergo genetic counseling for potential genetic testing and subsequently undergo increase surveillance, prophylactic surgery or chemopreventive therapy. I also collaborate with researchers at the University of Delaware and the Wistar Institute on projects related to development of biomarkers for studying cancer progression and metastasis, and for development of new chemotherapeutic agents/ vaccines  targeting metastatic cancers.

Current Projects

  1. To develop and put into effect clinical trials for the prevention or treatment of early and late stage colon and rectal cancer as part of the NCI Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program.
  2. A program to increase minority accrual to NCI clinical trials, to participate in the cancer bioinformatics grid (caBIG), to develop cancer outreach programs to the underserved, and survivorship and palliative care programs.
  3. To evaluate the Impact of Multidisciplinary Care on Stage III lung cancer and Stage II and III colorectal cancer.

Selected Publications

  • Yothers G, Allegra C, Kuebler P, Colangelo L, Petrelli N, Wolmark N.  NSABP C-07 - Oxaliplatin as adjuvant therapy for colon cancer:  updated results including survival and subset analysis.  J Clin Oncol, 29(28), 3768-3774, 2011.
  • Perkins J, Guarino M, Petrelli N.  Community based surveillance in clinical stage I germ cell tumors.  Community Oncology, 9(1), 15: 2012.
  • Rubino,M, Abdel-Misih R, Bennett J, Petrelli N.  Peritoneal surface malignancies and regional    treatment:  a review of the literature. Surgical Oncology, 21(2): 87-94, 2012.
  • Cancer Genome Atlas Network (Petrelli N, Witkin G, Iacocca M, Swanson P, Brown J,  Czerwinski C, Rabeno B, Denstman F).  Comprehensive molecular characterization of human colon and rectal cancer.  Nature, 487(19): 330-337, 2012.
  • McCahill L, Yothers G, Sharif S, Petrelli N, Lai L, Bechar N, Guiguere J, Dakhil S, Fehrenbacher L, Lopa S, Wagman L, O'Connell M, Wolmark N.  Primary mFOLFOX6 plus Bevacizumab without resection of the primary tumor for patients presenting with surgically unresectable metastatic colon cancer and an intact asymptomatic colon cancer:  definitive analysis of NSABP trial C-10.  J Clin Oncol, 30(26): 3223, 2012.
  • Cancer Genome Atlas Network (Iacocca M, Brown J, Rabeno B, Czerwinski C, Petrelli N).  Comprehensive genomic characterization of squamous cell lung cancer.  Nature, 489: 519, 2012.
  • Cancer Genome Atlas Network (Iacocca M, Brown J, Rabeno B, Czerwinski C, Petrelli N).  Comprehensive molecular portraits of human breast tumors.  Nature, 490: 61, 2012.
  • Gavin PG, Colangelo LH, Fumagalli D, Tancha N, Remillard MY, Yothers B, Kim C, Taniyama Y, Kim SI, Choi HJ, Blackmon NL, Lipchik C, Petrelli NJ, O'Connell MJ, Wolmark N, Paik S, Pogue-Geile KL.  Mutation profiling and microsatellite instability in stage II and III colon cancer:  an assessment of their prognostic and oxaliplatin predictive value.  Clin Cancer Res, 18(23): 6531-6541, 2012
  • Allegra CJ, Yothers G, O'Connell MJ, Sharif S, Petrelli NJ, Lopa SH, Wolmark N.  Bevacizumab in stage II/III colon cancer:  5-year update of the NSABP C-08 trial.  J Clin Oncol, 30(1): 359-364, 2013.
  • Borowsky M, Cadungog M, Czerwinski C, Huelsenbeck-Dill L, Iacocca M, Petrelli N, Rabeno B, Witkin G.  Cancer genome atlas network in integrated genomic characterization of endometrial cancer.  Nature, 497, 67, 2013.
  • Tusaga K, Levine E, Barone R, Sticca R, Petrelli N et al.  Consensus guidelines from the American Society of Peritoneal Surface Malignancies on standardizing the delivery of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in colorectal cancer patients in the United States.  Annals of Surgical Oncology.  Vol.21;pp.1501-1505,2014

Research Top 5 Words

  1. Cancer Prevention
  2. Gastrointestinal cancer
  3. Colorectal cancer
  4. Biomarkers in cancer
  5. Surgical treatment of cancer 

Bank of America Endowed Medical Director
Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
Christiana Care Health System

Phone: (302) 623-4556

Fax: (302) 623-4554


Office: Christiana Care

Helen F. Graham Center
4701 Ogletown Stanton Road
Suite 1213
Newark, DE 19713


  • A.B. - University of Notre Dame
  • M.D. - Tulane Medical School