University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Michael R. Harrison, MD

Michael R. Harrison, MD

Professor, Department of Surgery (Pediatric Surgery), UCSF

Research Summary

As founding director of UCSF's Fetal Treatment Center, Harrison is internationally renowned for his expertise and innovation in pediatric and fetal surgery. Widely regarded as the "father of fetal surgery," Harrison, over the last three decades, concentrated his lab efforts to establish the developmental pathophysiology of correctable birth defects in animal models, and develop and test techniques for fetal intervention (including maternal-fetal anesthesia), prior to clinical application. Now, a decade into the new century, the pioneering spirit continues and manifests in a new direction of innovation-i.e., original thought combined with the first presentation of work that leads to a milestone in the advancement of surgical care. Harrison's current research focuses on pediatric orphan device development, particularly devices employing the use of magnetic force. His most recent work has earned him one of three prestigious stimulus grants awarded by the FDA to fund a pediatric device consortium at UCSF.

Over the last six years, the Harrison lab has explored the use of magnetic force to correct a variety of problems and deformities. They began with the Magnetic Mini-Mover Procedure (3MP) to correct pectus excavatum in children, and tested the Magnimplant device in an FDA-sponsored trial with an FDA-approved IDE. In addition to the Magnetic Mini-Mover, they are continuing to develop and test:

- The Magnamosis device which uses specially designed magnets to create a secure compression anastomosis between any two pieces of intestine

- A magnetic internal-control contraction device to assist in laparoscopic surgery

- The Robo-Implant device, which uses magnetic coupling to activate and lengthen and shorten an internal growing rod for treatment of scoliosis and for limb lengthening.

In the course of developing and testing these magnetic implant treatments, the Harrison Lab most recently began considering the use of magnetic force for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. The concept is simple. In the same way that they implant a titanium-encased rare earth magnet on the sternum in patients with pectus excavatum and then, later, the patients use an external magnet orthotic device to gradually pull the 'sunken chest' out, Harrison et al are considering the possibility of implanting a similar magnet on the hyoid bone and letting the patient use an external orthotic magnetic device to pull the hyoid forward and open the airway when sleeping. With this approach the patient is unaffected while awake during the day and the implanted device is essentially invisible.

Under the auspices of the UCSF Pediatric Device Consortium, the mission of the Harrison Lab is to facilitate the development, production, and distribution of pediatric medical devices by:

- Encouraging innovation and connecting qualified individuals with pediatric device ideas with potential manufacturers

- Mentoring and managing pediatric device projects through the development process, including product identification, prototype design, device development, and marketing

- Connecting innovators and physicians to existing Federal and non-Federal resources

- Assessing the scientific and medical merit of proposed pediatric device projects

- Providing assistance and advice as needed on business development, personnel training, prototype development, and post-marketing needs

Selected Publications

  1. Graves CE, Co C, Hsi RS, Kwiat D, Imamura-Ching J, Harrison MR, Stoller ML. Magnetic Compression Anastomosis (Magnamosis): First-In-Human Trial. J Am Coll Surg. 2017 Aug 23.
    View on PubMed
  2. Motzer RJ, Jonasch E, Agarwal N, Bhayani S, Bro WP, Chang SS, Choueiri TK, Costello BA, Derweesh IH, Fishman M, Gallagher TH, Gore JL, Hancock SL, Harrison MR, Kim W, Kyriakopoulos C, LaGrange C, Lam ET, Lau C, Michaelson MD, Olencki T, Pierorazio PM, Plimack ER, Redman BG, Shuch B, Somer B, Sonpavde G, Sosman J, Dwyer M, Kumar R. Kidney Cancer, Version 2.2017, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017 Jun; 15(6):804-834.
    View on PubMed
  3. Moon-Grady AJ, Baschat A, Cass D, Choolani M, Copel JA, Crombleholme TM, Deprest J, Emery SP, Evans MI, Luks FI, Norton ME, Ryan G, Tsao K, Welch R, Harrison M. Fetal Treatment 2017: The Evolution of Fetal Therapy Centers - A Joint Opinion from the International Fetal Medicine and Surgical Society (IFMSS) and the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet). Fetal Diagn Ther. 2017 May 23.
    View on PubMed
  4. Gopalakrishna A, Longo TA, Fantony JJ, Harrison MR, Inman BA. Physical activity patterns and associations with health-related quality of life in bladder cancer survivors. Urol Oncol. 2017 Sep; 35(9):540.e1-540.e6.
    View on PubMed
  5. Bhavsar NA, Harrison MR, Hirsch BR, Creel P, Wolf SP, Samsa GP, Abernethy AP, Simantov R, Borham A, George DJ. Design and Rationale of the Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (MaRCC) Registry: A Prospective Academic and Community-Based Study of Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer. Cancer Invest. 2017 May 28; 35(5):333-344.
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  6. Graves CE, Hirose S, Raff GW, Iqbal CW, Imamura-Ching J, Christensen D, Fechter R, Kwiat D, Harrison MR. Magnetic Mini-Mover Procedure for pectus excavatum IV: FDA sponsored multicenter trial. J Pediatr Surg. 2017 Jun; 52(6):913-919.
    View on PubMed
  7. Ramalingam S, Humeniuk MS, Hu R, Rasmussen J, Healy P, Wu Y, Harrison MR, Armstrong AJ, George DJ, Zhang T. Prostate-specific antigen response in black and white patients treated with abiraterone acetate for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Urol Oncol. 2017 Jun; 35(6):418-424.
    View on PubMed
  8. Inman BA, Longo TA, Ramalingam S, Harrison MR. Atezolizumab: A PD-L1-Blocking Antibody for Bladder Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Apr 15; 23(8):1886-1890.
    View on PubMed
  9. Armstrong AJ, Humeniuk MS, Healy P, Szmulewitz R, Winters C, Kephart J, Harrison MR, Martinez E, Mundy K, Halabi S, George D. Phase Ib Trial of Cabazitaxel and Tasquinimod in Men With Heavily Pretreated Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC): The CATCH Trial. Prostate. 2017 Mar; 77(4):385-395.
    View on PubMed
  10. Ramalingam S, Eisenberg A, Foo WC, Freedman J, Armstrong AJ, Moss LG, Harrison MR. Treatment-related neuroendocrine prostate cancer resulting in Cushing's syndrome. Int J Urol. 2016 Dec; 23(12):1038-1041.
    View on PubMed
  11. Gopalakrishna A, Longo TA, Fantony JJ, Doshi U, Harrison MR, Van Noord M, Inman BA. High rates of venous thromboembolic events in patients undergoing systemic therapy for urothelial carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Urol Oncol. 2016 Sep; 34(9):407-14.
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  12. Glass OK, Ramalingam S, Harrison MR. Resistance exercise training in patients with genitourinary cancers to mitigate treatment-related skeletal muscle loss. Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2016 Jun; 14(6):436-46.
    View on PubMed
  13. Rubin N, Harrison MR, Krainock M, Kim R, Lien CL. Recent advancements in understanding endogenous heart regeneration-insights from adult zebrafish and neonatal mice. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2016 Oct; 58:34-40.
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  14. Harrison MR, Ramalingam S. Novel Androgen Receptor Signaling Inhibitors for Nonmetastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: The Light at the End of the Tunnel-or an Oncoming Train? Oncology (Williston Park). 2016 Apr; 30(4):345-7.
    View on PubMed
  15. Zhang T, Boominathan R, Foulk B, Rao C, Kemeny G, Strickler JH, Abbruzzese JL, Harrison MR, Hsu DS, Healy P, Li J, Pi C, Prendergast KM, Hobbs C, Gemberling S, George DJ, Hurwitz HI, Connelly M, Garcia-Blanco MA, Armstrong AJ. Development of a Novel c-MET-Based CTC Detection Platform. Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Jun; 14(6):539-47.
    View on PubMed
  16. Harrison B, Stern L, Chung P, Etemadi M, Kwiat D, Roy S, Harrison MR, Martinez-Ferro M. MyPectus: First-in-human pilot study of remote compliance monitoring of teens using dynamic compression bracing to correct pectus carinatum. J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Apr; 51(4):608-11.
    View on PubMed
  17. Ramalingam S, Pollak KI, Zullig LL, Harrison MR. What Should We Tell Patients About Physical Activity After a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis? Oncology (Williston Park). 2015 Sep; 29(9):680-5, 687-8, 694.
    View on PubMed
  18. Mitchell AP, Harrison MR, Walker MS, George DJ, Abernethy AP, Hirsch BR. Clinical Trial Participants With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Differ From Patients Treated in Real-World Practice. J Oncol Pract. 2015 Nov; 11(6):491-7.
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  19. Davis K, Wood S, Dill E, Fesko Y, Bitting RL, Harrison MR, Armstrong AJ, Moul JW, George DJ. Optimizing the efficiency and quality of sipuleucel-T delivery in an academic institution. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2015 Jun; 19(3):297-303.
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  20. Harrison MR, Bussmann J, Huang Y, Zhao L, Osorio A, Burns CG, Burns CE, Sucov HM, Siekmann AF, Lien CL. Chemokine-guided angiogenesis directs coronary vasculature formation in zebrafish. Dev Cell. 2015 May 26; 33(4):442-54.
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