Dr. Eric Nakakura is a gastrointestinal cancer surgeon who specializes in tumors of the pancreas, bile ducts, liver, and GI tract. He also treats soft tissue sarcomas, including tumors of the retroperitoneum, trunk and extremities. Dr. Nakakura is a leading authority on neuroendocrine carcinoid tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. In 2017, he was awarded a $1.2m grant from the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) to elucidate the causes of small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors (SI-NETs).
Dr. Nakakura earned a medical degree at Stanford Medical School and a doctorate degree in cellular and molecular medicine at the Johns Hopkins University. He completed a residency in general surgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and was a specialist registrar in surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England. He also completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the small intestine and pancreas frequently spread throughout the body (i.e., metastasize). Surgery is often not possible for patients with advanced disease, and current therapies are ineffective for shrinking tumors and durable palliation of debilitating symptoms, often caused by the release of hormones into the blood. Dr. Nakakura and his colleagues' long-term goal is to find the causes of NETs of the small intestine and pancreas, which can lead to earlier diagnosis and ultimately a cure.