Research Summary

The overarching goal of my research is to improve treatment options and outcomes in patients with primary cancers of the liver and bile ducts through clinical and translational research of novel drugs and combinations along with biomarker analyses to identify the patients most likely to respond. My current work in hepatobiliary cancers includes leading multiple clinical trials of new immunotherapy treatment combinations, ranging from large, international phase 3 trials to smaller, investigator-initiated institutional trials with translational biomarker endpoints. I am also the PI of the UCSF Hepatobiliary Tissue Bank and Registry (HBTBR), initiated in 2012 to serve as a platform for translational and epidemiology research using fresh and archival tumor tissue samples, blood samples, and longitudinal clinical data from patients with hepatobiliary cancers who receive cancer care at UCSF. The HBTBR has enrolled over 500 cases since its activation in late 2012 and has contributed samples and data to multiple projects, including the NCI/NHGRI The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) liver and cholangiocarcinoma cohorts, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in HCC and cholangiocarcinoma, a University of California consortium project to develop minority patient-derived xenografts including hepatocellular carcinoma for tumor genomics, the Liver Cancer Moonshot initiative of the NCI, and many collaborative, retrospective studies of clinical outcomes.

Education

Harvard College, Boston, MA, B.A., 1993-97, Biochemistry
UCLA, M.D., 1998-2002, Medicine
UCLA, Intern, 2002-03, Medicine
UCLA, Resident, 2003-05, Medicine
UCLA, Chief Resident, 2005-06, Medicine
UCSF, Fellow, 2006-09, Hematology/Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • 1993-1997
    Harvard College Scholarship, Harvard College
  • 1993-1997
    Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Merit Award, Harvard College
  • 1997-1998
    Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, Costa Rica
  • 2001
    Alpha Omega Alpha, UCLA School of Medicine
  • 2001
    Merck Book Award, UCLA School of Medicine
  • 2001
    Janet M. Glascow Memorial Achievement Citation, American Medical Women's Association
  • 2004, 2006
    Solomon Scholars Resident Research Day Award, UCLA Department of Medicine
  • 2006
    Medical Student Teaching Award, UCLA Department of Medicine
  • 2009
    ASCO Cancer Foundation Merit Award, Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium
  • 2010
    ASCO Young Investigator Award
  • 2014
    Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Selected Publications

  1. Llovet JM, Pinyol R, Kelley RK, El-Khoueiry A, Reeves HL, Wang XW, Gores GJ, Villanueva A. Molecular pathogenesis and systemic therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma. Nat Cancer. 2022 Apr; 3(4):386-401.  View on PubMed
  2. Freemantle N, Mollon P, Meyer T, Cheng AL, El-Khoueiry AB, Kelley RK, Baron AD, Benzaghou F, Mangeshkar M, Abou-Alfa GK. Quality of life assessment of cabozantinib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma in the CELESTIAL trial. Eur J Cancer. 2022 Apr 26; 168:91-98.  View on PubMed
  3. Zhu AX, Dayyani F, Yen CJ, Ren Z, Bai Y, Meng Z, Pan H, Dillon P, Mhatre SK, Gaillard VE, Hernandez S, Kelley RK, Sangro B. Alpha-fetoprotein as a potential surrogate biomarker for atezolizumab + bevacizumab treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Apr 18.  View on PubMed
  4. El-Khoueiry AB, Meyer T, Cheng AL, Rimassa L, Sen S, Milwee S, Kelley RK, Abou-Alfa GK. Safety and efficacy of cabozantinib for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who advanced to Child-Pugh B liver function at study week 8: a retrospective analysis of the CELESTIAL randomised controlled trial. BMC Cancer. 2022 Apr 09; 22(1):377.  View on PubMed
  5. Falkson SR, Zhang K, Bhambhvani HP, Wild JL, Griffin A, Kelley RK, Gephart MH. Biliary cancer brain metastases: a multi-institution case series with case reports. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2022 Apr; 13(2):822-832.  View on PubMed
  6. Silverman IM, Li M, Murugesan K, Krook MA, Javle MM, Kelley RK, Borad MJ, Roychowdhury S, Meng W, Yilmazel B, Milbury C, Shewale S, Feliz L, Burn TC, Albacker LA. Validation and Characterization of FGFR2 Rearrangements in Cholangiocarcinoma with Comprehensive Genomic Profiling. J Mol Diagn. 2022 Apr; 24(4):351-364.  View on PubMed
  7. Burns S, Vella M, Paciorek A, Zhang L, Atreya CE, Feng M, Kelley RK, Tempero MA, Van Loon K, Ko AH. Characteristics and Growth Rate of Lung Metastases in Patients With Primary Gastrointestinal Malignancies and Lung-dominant Metastatic Disease: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis. Am J Clin Oncol. 2022 01 01; 45(1):22-27.  View on PubMed
  8. Combes AJ, Samad B, Tsui J, Chew NW, Yan P, Reeder GC, Kushnoor D, Shen A, Davidson B, Barczak AJ, Adkisson M, Edwards A, Naser M, Barry KC, Courau T, Hammoudi T, Argüello RJ, Rao AA, Olshen AB, Immunoprofiler Consortium, Cai C, Zhan J, Davis KC, Kelley RK, Chapman JS, Atreya CE, Patel A, Daud AI, Ha P, Diaz AA, Kratz JR, Collisson EA, Fragiadakis GK, Erle DJ, Boissonnas A, Asthana S, Chan V, Krummel MF. Discovering dominant tumor immune archetypes in a pan-cancer census. Cell. 2022 01 06; 185(1):184-203.e19.  View on PubMed
  9. Yau T, Park JW, Finn RS, Cheng AL, Mathurin P, Edeline J, Kudo M, Harding JJ, Merle P, Rosmorduc O, Wyrwicz L, Schott E, Choo SP, Kelley RK, Sieghart W, Assenat E, Zaucha R, Furuse J, Abou-Alfa GK, El-Khoueiry AB, Melero I, Begic D, Chen G, Neely J, Wisniewski T, Tschaika M, Sangro B. Nivolumab versus sorafenib in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (CheckMate 459): a randomised, multicentre, open-label, phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2022 01; 23(1):77-90.  View on PubMed
  10. Rimassa L, Kelley RK, Meyer T, Ryoo BY, Merle P, Park JW, Blanc JF, Lim HY, Tran A, Chan YW, McAdam P, Wang E, Cheng AL, El-Khoueiry AB, Abou-Alfa GK. Outcomes Based on Plasma Biomarkers for the Phase 3 CELESTIAL Trial of Cabozantinib versus Placebo in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Liver Cancer. 2022 Jan; 11(1):38-47.  View on PubMed
  11. Reig M, Forner A, Rimola J, Ferrer-Fàbrega J, Burrel M, Garcia-Criado Á, Kelley RK, Galle PR, Mazzaferro V, Salem R, Sangro B, Singal AG, Vogel A, Fuster J, Ayuso C, Bruix J. BCLC strategy for prognosis prediction and treatment recommendation: The 2022 update. J Hepatol. 2022 03; 76(3):681-693.  View on PubMed
  12. Kelley RK, Miksad R, Cicin I, Chen Y, Klümpen HJ, Kim S, Lin ZZ, Youkstetter J, Hazra S, Sen S, Cheng AL, El-Khoueiry AB, Meyer T, Abou-Alfa GK. Efficacy and safety of cabozantinib for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma based on albumin-bilirubin grade. Br J Cancer. 2022 03; 126(4):569-575.  View on PubMed
  13. Meric-Bernstam F, Bahleda R, Hierro C, Sanson M, Bridgewater J, Arkenau HT, Tran B, Kelley RK, Park JO, Javle M, He Y, Benhadji KA, Goyal L. Futibatinib, an Irreversible FGFR1-4 Inhibitor, in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors Harboring FGF/FGFR Aberrations: A Phase I Dose-Expansion Study. Cancer Discov. 2022 02; 12(2):402-415.  View on PubMed
  14. Kelley RK, Joseph NM, Nimeiri HS, Hwang J, Kulik LM, Ngo Z, Behr SC, Onodera C, Zhang K, Bocobo AG, Benson AB, Venook AP, Gordan JD. Phase II Trial of the Combination of Temsirolimus and Sorafenib in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Tumor Mutation Profiling. Liver Cancer. 2021 Nov; 10(6):561-571.  View on PubMed
  15. Greten TF, Abou-Alfa GK, Cheng AL, Duffy AG, El-Khoueiry AB, Finn RS, Galle PR, Goyal L, He AR, Kaseb AO, Kelley RK, Lencioni R, Lujambio A, Mabry Hrones D, Pinato DJ, Sangro B, Troisi RI, Wilson Woods A, Yau T, Zhu AX, Melero I. Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) clinical practice guideline on immunotherapy for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. J Immunother Cancer. 2021 09; 9(9).  View on PubMed
  16. Javle M, Roychowdhury S, Kelley RK, Sadeghi S, Macarulla T, Weiss KH, Waldschmidt DT, Goyal L, Borbath I, El-Khoueiry A, Borad MJ, Yong WP, Philip PA, Bitzer M, Tanasanvimon S, Li A, Pande A, Soifer HS, Shepherd SP, Moran S, Zhu AX, Bekaii-Saab TS, Abou-Alfa GK. Infigratinib (BGJ398) in previously treated patients with advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma with FGFR2 fusions or rearrangements: mature results from a multicentre, open-label, single-arm, phase 2 study. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 10; 6(10):803-815.  View on PubMed
  17. Kelley RK, Sangro B, Harris W, Ikeda M, Okusaka T, Kang YK, Qin S, Tai DW, Lim HY, Yau T, Yong WP, Cheng AL, Gasbarrini A, Damian S, Bruix J, Borad M, Bendell J, Kim TY, Standifer N, He P, Makowsky M, Negro A, Kudo M, Abou-Alfa GK. Safety, Efficacy, and Pharmacodynamics of Tremelimumab Plus Durvalumab for Patients With Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Randomized Expansion of a Phase I/II Study. J Clin Oncol. 2021 09 20; 39(27):2991-3001.  View on PubMed
  18. Kelley RK, Greten TF. Hepatocellular Carcinoma - Origins and Outcomes. N Engl J Med. 2021 07 15; 385(3):280-282.  View on PubMed
  19. El-Khoueiry AB, Hanna DL, Llovet J, Kelley RK. Cabozantinib: An evolving therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Treat Rev. 2021 Jul; 98:102221.  View on PubMed
  20. Harding JJ, Do RK, Yaqubie A, Cleverly A, Zhao Y, Gueorguieva I, Lahn M, Benhadji KA, Kelley RK, Abou-Alfa GK. Phase 1b study of galunisertib and ramucirumab in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Med. 2021 05; 10(9):3059-3067.  View on PubMed

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