Roger Williams Medical Center

Providence, Rhode Island
Program Director: Steven C. Katz, MD
Associate Program Director: Abdul Saied Calvino, MD

The Division of Surgical Oncology at the Roger Williams Medical Center and Adele R. Decof Cancer Center offers a two-year Clinical Fellowship in Complex General Surgical Oncology. The program was initiated in July 1988 and was approved by the Society of Surgical Oncology in 1995. ACGME accreditation has been in place since July 1, 2012. It is directed towards candidates who have completed an approved general surgical residency and who are eligible for the American Board of Surgery examination. The principal program objective is to develop academic surgical oncologists who will possess mastery of the technical and cognitive aspects of our specialty. Intensive experience with basic or clinical oncologic research is encouraged. One fellow per year is admitted to the program. Fellows participate in medical student, physician assistant student and resident education. The fellows function as junior faculty members in collaboration with the attending staff.

The two-year training program emphasizes a strong clinical experience in advanced, state-of-the-art oncologic surgical techniques and multidisciplinary clinical decision-making. The Division of Surgical Oncology has a major interest in the surgery of advanced malignancies including primary and secondary hepatobiliary, pancreatic, colorectal, head and neck, breast, gastroesophageal, endocrine, and soft tissue tumors. A special emphasis is placed on minimally invasive management of foregut malignancies, regional therapy, and ablative technologies. We have an active translational immunotherapy program, including an NIH-funded basic science laboratory and phase I/II clinical trial program. The Division also runs active breast and colorectal screening clinics. The Divisions of Surgical Oncology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology and Interventional Radiology participate in the multi-disciplinary management of our patients. A multidisciplinary Geriatric Oncology program is a growing component of our clinical and educational programs.

Clinical Trials

The fellowship experience will include several ongoing protocols focused on neoadjuvant therapy for head and neck, pancreas, liver and rectal tumors. Protocols accruing selected patients with melanoma or breast cancer are ongoing as well. We have opened several innovative immunotherapy protocols including one involving regional infusion of anti-CEA CAR-T cells for liver metastases (HITM trial, NCT01373047) and another testing the combination of CAR-T cells and radioembolization (HITM-SIR, NCT02416466).  Fellows will gain exposure to these trials through involvement in patient accrual and management during the treatment period. We also maintain a tissue repository, which affords opportunities to perform novel and innovative research projects.


The two-year didactic teaching program covers the essential principles of surgical oncology while emphasizing the literature which influences our practice patterns. Broad areas that are covered include basic tumor biology, biostatistics, ethics, protocol writing, and grant development. A weekly conference session includes a journal review, indications conference, morbidity and mortality, and research project audit. The program maintains an electronic library of critical research papers. The fellow is expected to produce a minimum of one manuscript per year and to write and defend a treatment protocol before the IRB Committee. Support is provided for fellows to attend meetings for abstract presentations. Dedicated mentorship is provided for clinical research projects, presentations, and manuscript preparation. Although laboratory experience is encouraged, this is individualized depending on the aptitude, interests, and previous background of the candidate. Opportunities to study tumor immunology at the basic science and translational levels are available.

Clinical Rotations

The first year clinical rotations include nine months of core rotations at the Roger Williams Medical Center in General Surgical Oncology. The Division is divided into two teams. One team concentrates on head and neck malignancies, breast tumor management, sarcoma and cutaneous malignancies. The second team has major interest in hepatobiliary, pancreas, esophagus, colorectal and endocrine surgery, with particular emphasis on minimally invasive approaches. The surgical oncology core time will be divided between these two groups. There are also rotations in Medical Oncology (four weeks), Radiation Oncology (four weeks), and Pathology (four weeks), each of which has been tailored to meet the needs of the surgical oncology fellows. Affiliations with the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and Women and Infants Hospital supplement the clinical experience at RWMC. The fellow rotates with the Women and Infants Hospital Breast Department (Dr. Jennifer Gass) as well as the Gynecologic Oncology service (Dr. Cornelius Granai).  A two-month rotations at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Division of Surgical Oncology with an emphasis on Hepatobiliary is provided during the second year. Electives for the fellow include 4 months of dedicated research time and an international experience.

Research and Grants

There is an optional three-year program that emphasizes laboratory and grant writing skills. This track is directed towards developing the surgical oncologist as a clinical and laboratory investigator capable of competing for independent funding. The program is designed to maximize clinical expertise in Surgical Oncology and to provide a solid foundation in clinical investigation to facilitate the fellow's maturation into a broadly experienced surgical oncologist. The breadth of clinical training and opportunities for basic science or clinical research provide for a stimulating and rewarding experience.


Applications are processed through the NRMP and the Program Coordinator will contact candidates who are selected to interview.

Contact Information

Contact: Nancy Agyapon
   Surgical Education & Training Coordinator

 Address: Roger Williams Medical Center
Department of Surgery
825 Chalkstone Avenue
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401-456-2484
Fax: 401-456-6708

For questions about the program please contact Nancy Agyapon at phone number 401-456-2484 or by e-mail at: