• Dr. Martin J. Heslin, M.D. joined the faculty of UAB Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology in 1996, following completion of his Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Sloan-Kettering Hospital. He is the James P. Hayes, Jr., Endowed Professor in Gastrointestinal Oncology.

    He has extensive training in hepatobiliary, pancreatic, and colorectal surgery. He has established a thriving gastrointestinal oncology practice which focuses primarily on neoplasms of the pancreas, stomach, colon and rectum. In 2001, Dr. Heslin was instrumental in the establishment of the UAB Inter disciplinary Gastrointestinal Oncology Center.

    Dr. Heslin also serves as the Chief of Medical Staff. In the operating room and the clinic, Dr. Heslin is a key instructor and role model for medical students and house staff.

    He is a reviewer of four professional journals, author or co-author on over 80 publications and 9 book chapters. He has been intermittently funded researcher with one current grant. He works with the Robert E. Reed Foundation to support research in GI cancers. The Reed Foundation has consistently supported research in the GI oncology lab for over 10 years.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Analysis of Open Payments Receipts Among Surgical Faculty at a Large Academic InstitutionJournal of Surgical Research.  244:599-603. 2019
    2019 Timed Stair-Climbing as a Surrogate Marker for Sarcopenia Measurements in Predicting Surgical OutcomesJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.  23:2459-2465. 2019
    2019 Is Disruptive Behavior Inherent to the Surgeon or the Environment? Analysis of 314 Events at a Single Academic Medical CenterAnnals of Surgery.  270:463-472. 2019
    2019 Neoadjuvant modified FOLFIRINOX or gemcitabine-nab paclitaxel followed by stereotactic body radiotherapy for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancerAnnals of Oncology.  30:iv67. 2019
    2019 Stereotactic body radiotherapy in locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma: A single institution experienceAnnals of Oncology.  30:iv89. 2019
    2019 Healthcare disparities in outcomes of patients with resectable pancreatic cancer 2019
    2019 Open surgical treatment for esophageal cancer: Transhiatal vs. transthoracic, does it really matter?Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology.  10:783-788. 2019
    2018 A Structured Compensation Plan Improves But Does Not Erase the Sex Pay Gap in SurgeryAnnals of Surgery.  268:442-448. 2018
    2018 The effects of tenure and promotion on surgeon productivityJournal of Surgical Research.  227:67-71. 2018
    2018 Neuroendocrine and adrenal tumors, version 2.2018 featured updates to the nccn guidelines 2018
    2018 Soft tissue sarcoma, version 2.2018: Clinical practice guidelines in oncology 2018
    2018 JQ1 induces DNA damage and apoptosis, and inhibits tumor growth in a patient-derived xenograft model of cholangiocarcinomaMolecular Cancer Therapeutics.  17:107-118. 2018
    2017 Patient perceptions about their physician in 2 words the good, the bad, and the uglyJAMA Surgery.  152:1169-1170. 2017
    2017 Increased pancreatic cancer survival with greater lymph node retrieval in the National Cancer Data Base 2017
    2017 Implementation and utilization of the molecular tumor board to guide precision medicine.Oncotarget.  8:57845-57854. 2017
    2017 Argininosuccinate Synthase 1 is a Metabolic Regulator of Colorectal Cancer PathogenicityACS Chemical Biology.  12:905-911. 2017
    2017 Chemoproteomic Screening of Covalent Ligands Reveals UBA5 As a Novel Pancreatic Cancer TargetACS Chemical Biology.  12:899-904. 2017
    2017 Chemoproteomics-enabled covalent ligand screen reveals a cysteine hotspot in reticulon 4 that impairs ER morphology and cancer pathogenicityChemical Communications.  53:7234-7237. 2017
    2017 Implementation and utilization of the molecular tumor board to guide precision medicineOncotarget.  8:57845-57854. 2017
    2016 Understanding the Value of Both Laparoscopic and Robotic Approaches Compared to the Open Approach in Colorectal Surgery 2016
    2016 RNA sequencing of pancreatic adenocarcinoma tumors yields novel expression patterns associated with long-term survival and reveals a role for ANGPTL4Molecular Oncology.  10:1169-1182. 2016
    2016 Soft tissue sarcoma, version 2.2016: Clinical practice guidelines in oncology 2016
    2016 Timed Stair Climbing is the Single Strongest Predictor of Perioperative Complications in Patients Undergoing Abdominal SurgeryJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  222:559-566. 2016
    2016 The BET bromodomain inhibitor JQ1 suppresses growth of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in patient-derived xenograft modelsOncogene.  35:833-845. 2016
    2016 A role for the early warning score in early identification of critical postoperative complicationsAnnals of Surgery.  263:918-923. 2016
    2016 Association between Hepatitis C Virus Infection, p53 Phenotypes, and Gene Variants of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli in Hepatocellular Carcinomas.J Dig Dis Hepatol.  2016. 2016
    2015 Patterns of Failure for Lymph Node-Positive Resected Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma After Adjuvant Radiotherapy or Gemcitabine-based Chemotherapy AloneJournal of Gastrointestinal Cancer.  46:149-155. 2015
    2015 Neuroendocrine tumors, version 1.2015 2015
    2014 Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, version 2.2014. 2014
    2014 Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, version 2.2014: Featured updates to the NCCN Guidelines 2014
    2014 Soft tissue sarcoma, version 2.2014. 2014
    2014 A 100% departmental mortality review improves observed-to-expected mortality ratios and University HealthSystem Consortium rankingsJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  218:554-562. 2014
    2014 Adoption of preoperative oral antibiotics decreases surgical site infection for elective colorectal surgeryAmerican Surgeon.  80:E270-E273. 2014
    2014 DiscussionJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  218:635. 2014
    2014 DiscussionJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  218:1-3. 2014
    2014 Erratum to: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma: a pilot study of quantitative perfusion and diffusion-weighted breath-hold magnetic resonance imaging (Abdom Imaging (2014) 39, (744–752) 10.1007/s00261-014-0107-z)Gastrointestinal radiology.  39:1143. 2014
    2014 Pancreatic adenocarcinoma: A pilot study of quantitative perfusion and diffusion-weighted breath-hold magnetic resonance imagingGastrointestinal radiology.  39:744-752. 2014
    2014 Soft tissue sarcoma, version 2.2014: Featured updates to the NCCN guidelines 2014
    2013 Development and Histopathological Characterization of Tumorgraft Models of Pancreatic Ductal AdenocarcinomaPLoS ONE.  8. 2013
    2013 Endoscopic ultrasound evaluation in the surgical treatment of duodenal and peri-ampullary adenomasWorld Journal of Gastroenterology.  19:511-515. 2013
    2013 Robotic versus laparoscopic adrenalectomy: A comparative study in a high-volume center 2013
    2012 Soft tissue sarcoma, version 2.2012 featured updates to the NCCN guidelines 2012
    2012 Neuroendocrine tumors. 2012
    2012 Neuroendocrine tumors: Clinical practice guidelines in oncology 2012
    2012 By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes*: Sporadic cancers versus eponymous hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes 2012
    2011 Targeting ErbB3-mediated stromal-epithelial interactions in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomaBritish Journal of Cancer.  105:523-533. 2011
    2011 DiscussionJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  212:467-469. 2011
    2010 ErbB3 expression promotes tumorigenesis in pancreatic adenocarcinomaCancer Biology and Therapy.  10:555-563. 2010
    2010 Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) intron 1 polymorphism and clinical outcome in pancreatic adenocarcinoma 2010
    2010 Recurrent Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: Impact of Biology and Therapy on OutcomesJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  210:602-608. 2010
    2010 Experimentally Derived Metastasis Gene Expression Profile Predicts Recurrence and Death in Patients With Colon CancerGastroenterology.  138:958-968. 2010
    2010 Soft tissue sarcoma 2010
    2009 DiscussionsAnnals of Surgery.  250:1033-1034. 2009
    2009 Laparoscopic and open distal pancreatectomy: A comparison of outcomesAmerican Surgeon.  75:671-679. 2009
    2009 NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: neuroendocrine tumors. 2009
    2009 Retroperitoneal and Intra-Abdominal SarcomaCurrent Problems in Surgery.  46:445-503. 2009
    2009 Epigenetic downregulation of the DNA repair gene MED1/MBD4 in colorectal and ovarian cancerCancer Biology and Therapy.  8:94-100. 2009
    2009 In BriefCurrent Problems in Surgery.  46:439-443. 2009
    2009 Neuroendocrine tumors 2009
    2009 Think, Diagnose, and RethinkAmerican Journal of Medicine.  122:823-826. 2009
    2008 Radiofrequency ablation for unresectable tumors of the liverAmerican Surgeon.  74:594-600. 2008
    2008 Durable Improvements in Efficiency, Safety, and Satisfaction in the Operating RoomJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  206:1083-1089. 2008
    2008 Primary colonic lymphomaAmerican Surgeon.  74:214-216. 2008
    2008 Prognostic factors and preoperative radiation therapy associated with sphincter preservation in patients with resectable rectal cancer 2008
    2007 EGFR Genomic Gain and Aberrant Pathway Signaling in Pancreatic Cancer PatientsJournal of Surgical Research.  143:20-26. 2007
    2007 Brennan-isms and the Process of MentoringJournal of The American College of Surgeons.  205. 2007
    2007 A prospective evaluation of an algorithm incorporating routine preoperative endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration in suspected pancreatic cancerJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.  11:813-819. 2007
    2007 Pancreatic cancer epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) intron 1 polymorphism influences postoperative patient survival and in vitro erlotinib responseAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  14:2150-2158. 2007
    2007 Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is highly conserved in pancreatic cancerSurgery.  141:464-469. 2007
    2007 Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Preoperative and Postoperative Imaging for StagingSurgical Oncology Clinics of North America.  16:389-402. 2007
    2007 Soft tissue sarcoma. 2007
    2007 Surgical treatment of pancreatic endocrine neoplasms 2007
    2007 ErbB3 expression and dimerization with EGFR influence pancreatic cancer cell sensitivity to erlotinibCancer Biology and Therapy.  6:548-554. 2007
    2007 Regionalization versus competition in complex cancer surgeryHealth Economics, Policy and Law.  2:51-71. 2007
    2007 Regionalization versus competition in complex cancer surgery.Health Economics, Policy and Law.  2:51-71. 2007
    2007 Variability of in situ proteomic profiling and implications for study design in colorectal tumorsInternational Journal of Oncology.  31:103-111. 2007
    2006 Urine PGE-M: A Metabolite of Prostaglandin E2 as a Potential Biomarker of Advanced Colorectal NeoplasiaClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  4:1358-1365. 2006
    2006 Radiation therapy for retroperitoneal sarcoma 2006
    2006 Preoperative radiation therapy with selective dose escalation to the margin at risk for retroperitoneal sarcomaCancer.  107:371-379. 2006
    2006 Trends in hospital and surgeon volume and operative mortality for cancer surgeryAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  13:851-858. 2006
    2006 Neuroendocrine tumors. 2006
    2006 Cyclooxygenase-2 expression and clinical outcome in gastrointestinal stromal tumorsJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.  10:315-319. 2006
    2006 Neuroendocrine tumors: Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology™ 2006
    2005 Adrenocortical carcinoma: A single institution experienceAmerican Surgeon.  71:90-94. 2005
    2005 Leiomyosarcoma of the inferior vena cava: Three case reports and review of the literatureAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology.  9:259-266. 2005
    2005 Tumor-associated down-regulation of 15-lipoxygenase-1 is reversed by celecoxib in colorectal cancerAnnals of Surgery.  241:941-947. 2005
    2005 Analysis of KIT mutations in sporadic and familial gastrointestinal stromal tumors: Therapeutic implications through protein modelingClinical Cancer Research.  11:3668-3677. 2005
    2005 E1A-F is overexpressed early in human colorectal neoplasia and associated with cyclooxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-7Molecular Carcinogenesis.  43:13-17. 2005
    2005 Soft tissue sarcoma: Clinical practice guidelines in oncology 2005
    2004 Simultaneous detection of variable number tandem repeats, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and allelic imbalance in the thymidylate synthase gene enhancer region using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatographyAnalytical Biochemistry.  334:276-283. 2004
    2004 Is Extended Hepatectomy for Hepatobiliary Malignancy Justified?Annals of Surgery.  239:722-732. 2004
    2004 Main-Duct Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms of the Pancreas: Clinical Predictors of Malignancy and Long-term Survival Following ResectionAnnals of Surgery.  239:678-687. 2004
    2004 An empirical bayes adjustment to increase the sensitivity of detecting differentially expressed genes in microarray experimentsBioinformatics.  20:235-241. 2004
    2003 Expression of p53 and proliferation index as prognostic factors in gastrointestinal sarcomasAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  10:190-195. 2003
    2003 Laparoscopic adrenalectomy and splenectomy are safe and reduce hospital stay and chargesAmerican Surgeon.  69:377-381. 2003
    2003 Radio-frequency ablation in cirrhotic patients with hepatocellular carcinomaAmerican Surgeon.  69:1067-1071. 2003
    2003 Recent insights into angiogenesis, apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis in colorectal carcinomaAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  10:839-851. 2003
    2003 Results of long-term follow-up for transanal excision for rectal cancerAmerican Surgeon.  69:675-678. 2003
    2003 Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) rapidly regenerates after inactivation by eniluracil (GW776C85) in primary and metastatic colorectal cancerCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  52:399-404. 2003
    2003 Effect of Hospital Volume and Experience on In-Hospital Mortality for PancreaticoduodenectomyAnnals of Surgery.  237:509-514. 2003
    2003 Local recurrence after breast conserving therapy for invasive breast cancer: Analysis of prognostic factorsClinical and Translational Oncology.  5:93-97. 2003
    2002 Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy: A study of 103 casesCancer.  96:232-239. 2002
    2002 Factors associated with local recurrence after skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction for invasive breast cancerAnnals of Surgery.  235:814-819. 2002
    2002 Housekeeping gene variability in normal and carcinomatous colorectal and liver tissues: Applications in pharmacogenomic gene expression studiesAnalytical Biochemistry.  303:209-214. 2002
    2001 Sentinel node biopsy for cutaneous melanoma in the head and neckAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  8:716-719. 2001
    2001 Sentinel node biopsy for cutaneous melanoma in the head and neck.Annals of Surgical Oncology.  8:716-719. 2001
    2001 Role of matrix metalloproteinases in colorectal carcinogenesisAnnals of Surgery.  233:786-792. 2001
    2001 Reducing the cost of diagnosis of breast carcinoma: Impact of ultrasound and imaging-guided biopsies on a clinical breast practiceCancer.  91:324-332. 2001
    2001 Colorectal hepatic metastases: Resection, local ablation, and hepatic artery infusion pump are associated with prolonged survivalArchives of Surgery.  136:318-323. 2001
    2001 Concomitant Sclerosing Mesenteritis and Bile Duct Fibrosis Simulating Klatskin's TumorJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.  5:658-660. 2001
    2001 Multimodality Treatment for Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Analysis of Prognostic Factors in a Single Western Institution SeriesJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.  5:638-645. 2001
    2001 Multimodality treatment of merkel cell carcinoma: Case series and literature review of 1024 casesAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  8:204-208. 2001
    2000 Quantitation of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase expression by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reactionAnalytical Biochemistry.  278:175-184. 2000
    2000 Advances in perioperative nutrition: CancerWorld Journal of Surgery.  24:1477-1485. 2000
    2000 Appendiceal ganglioneuromas and pheochromocytoma in neurofibromatosis type IAmerican Journal of Roentgenology.  175:132-134. 2000
    2000 Clinicopathological characteristics of gastric carcinoma in young and elderly patients: A comparative studyAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  7:515-519. 2000
    2000 Extended lymph node dissection in gastric cancer: If a benefit exists, can it ever be proven?Annals of Surgical Oncology.  7:715-716. 2000
    2000 Primary gastrointestinal sarcomasAmerican Surgeon.  66:1171-1175. 2000
    1999 The role of pancreaticoduodenectomy in the treatment of severe chronic pancreatitisAmerican Surgeon.  65:1108-1112. 1999
    1999 Gastric Cancer.Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology.  2:163-170. 1999
    1999 Imaging of soft tissue sarcomasSurgical Oncology Clinics of North America.  8:91-107. 1999
    1999 Intestinal permeability after early postoperative enteral nutrition in patients with upper gastrointestinal malignancyJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.  23:75-79. 1999
    1999 Surgical oncology fellowship: Viable pathway to academic surgery?Annals of Surgical Oncology.  6:542-545. 1999
    1998 Ki-67 detected by MIB-1 predicts distant metastasis and tumor mortality in primary, high grade extremity soft tissue sarcomaCancer.  83:490-497. 1998
    1998 Ki-67 detected by MIB-1 predicts distant metastasis and tumor mortality in primary, high grade extremity soft tissue sarcoma.Cancer.  83:490-497. 1998
    1998 A preoperative biliary stent is associated with increased complications after pancreatoduodenectomyArchives of Surgery.  133:149-154. 1998
    1998 Preoperative identification and operative management of intraatrial extension of lung tumorsAnnals of Thoracic Surgery.  65:544-546. 1998
    1998 Is Intra-Abdominal Drainage Necessary after Pancreaticoduodenectomy?Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.  2:373-378. 1998
    1998 Neovascularity and clinical outcome in high-grade extremity soft tissue sarcomasAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  5:48-53. 1998
    1998 Superficial extremity soft tissue sarcoma: An analysis of prognostic factorsAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  5:41-47. 1998
    1997 A prospective, randomized trial of early enteral feeding after resection of upper gastrointestinal malignancyAnnals of Surgery.  226:567-580. 1997
    1997 Early postoperative enteral feeding improves whole body protein kinetics in upper gastrointestinal cancer patients 1997
    1997 A prospective, randomized trial of early enteral feeding after resection of upper gastrointestinal malignancyAnn Surg.  226:567-577. 1997
    1997 Association of local recurrence with subsequent survival in extremity soft tissue sarcomaJournal of Clinical Oncology.  15:646-652. 1997
    1997 Core needle biopsy for diagnosis of extremity soft tissue sarcomaAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  4:425-431. 1997
    1997 Early postoperative enteral nutrition improves peripheral protein kinetics in upper gastrointestinal cancer patients undergoing complete resection: A randomized trialJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.  21:202-207. 1997
    1997 Prognostic factors associated with long-term survival for retroperitoneal sarcoma: Implications for managementJournal of Clinical Oncology.  15:2832-2839. 1997
    1996 Diet and malignancy: five decades of rediscovery.Nutrition.  12:653-655. 1996
    1996 Diet and malignancy: Five decades of rediscoveryNutrition.  12:653-655. 1996
    1996 Prognostic significance of a positive microscopic margin in high-risk extremity soft tissue sarcoma: Implications for managementJournal of Clinical Oncology.  14:473-478. 1996
    1996 The effect of blood transfusion on tumor growth in Sarcoma-Bearing ratsAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  3:74-79. 1996
    1994 Effect of perioperative blood transfusion on recurrence and survival in 232 primary high-grade extremity sarcoma patientsAnnals of Surgical Oncology.  1:189-197. 1994
    1994 The effect of systemic hyperinsulinemia with concomitant amino acid infusion on skeletal muscle protein turnover in the human forearm 1994
    1993 Abdominal aortic pseudoaneurysm after blunt trauma.Journal of Vascular Surgery.  18:307-309. 1993
    1993 Abdominal aortic pseudoaneurysm after blunt traumaJournal of Vascular Surgery.  18:307-309. 1993
    1993 Erratum: Effect of hyperinsulinemia on whole body and skeletal muscle leucine carbon kinetics in humans (American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism (June 1992) (E911-E918))American Journal of Physiology.  265. 1993
    1992 Effect of hyperinsulinemia on whole body and skeletal muscle leucine carbon kinetics in humans.American Journal of Physiology.  262:E911-E918. 1992
    1992 Effect of Systemic Hyperinsulinemia in Cancer PatientsCancer Research.  52:3845-3850. 1992
    1992 Effect of hyperinsulinemia on whole body and skeletal muscle leucine carbon kinetics in humansAmerican Journal of Physiology.  262. 1992
    1992 Growth hormone and insulin combine to improve whole-body and skeletal muscle protein kineticsSurgery.  112:284-292. 1992
    1992 Growth hormone and insulin reverse net whole body and skeletal muscle protein catabolism in cancer patientsAnnals of Surgery.  216:280-290. 1992
    1992 The effect of insulin on glucose and protein metabolism in the forearm of cancer patientsSurgical Oncology.  1:257-267. 1992

    Research Overview

  • Dr. Heslin’s research includes both clinical and nonclinical topics. His research interests vary, with topics from surgical outcomes to physician management, but keep a common underlying theme of improving the practice of medicine. Current projects focus on upgrading existing policies, such as physician peer review, and collecting/analyzing meaningful data in patient experience and ongoing physician practice trends. Below are brief summaries of ongoing projects:

    Two Word: Questions “Describe your provider in two words,” and “Describe your faculty member in two words,” were added to the patient experience survey and resident evaluation form. Words are categorized as either positive or negative then analyzed and presented utilizing visually stimulating word clouds. These word clouds can be used by the Peer Review Committee, Department Chairs, or Divisions Chairs for physician evaluation and management. Each month, thousands of additional words are collected to provide a qualitative view of provider/faculty practice.
    Optimizing Perioperative Communication: Data was collected from patient records, nominal groups, and follow-up phone calls to understand barriers surrounding physician lead perioperative communication. Interventions to address communication needs pre-, during, and post- operation have been tested. Currently, the initiative is to reanalyze data with newly collected information to better understand caregiver’s and surgeon’s expectations regarding communication and better manage these expectations.
    Peer Review Process: The peer review policy is continually being updated to be a useful tool of accountability and advocacy for the health care provider. The primary goal is to understand the inherent systemic stressors impacting the practice of medicine. Reporters and those reported are asked to provide their perception of patient and staff harm. Also, each event is categorized as either behavioral or systemic. Data reports are provided to senior leadership to encourage changes across the system to make the practice of medicine more efficient for providers.
  • Education And Training

  • Master of Sciences or Mathematics in Health and Medical Administrative Services, University of Alabama at Birmingham 2012
  • Doctor of Medicine, State University of New York Upstate Medical University 1987
  • New York University Medical Center, Residency 1994
  • Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Residency 1991
  • New York University Medical Center, Residency 1989
  • Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Postdoctoral Fellowship 1996
  • Full Name

  • Martin Heslin