Dr. Harris specializes in caring for people with gastrointestinal malignancies including hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer.
I believe in designing a treatment plan based upon the specifics of each patient’s case. I aim to select the optimal treatment through a discussion of the different available strategies, with a goal of individualizing therapy by taking into account all available information regarding the biology of disease and patient's lifestyle preferences.
Gastrointestinal cancers including liver, bile duct, pancreas, colon, rectal, anal, gastric, esophageal, and neuroendocrine tumors.
- Associate Professor, Division of Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- BS: Brown University, Providence, RI
- MD: Columbia University, New York, NY
- Residency: University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- Fellowship: UWMC and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
- Other notable training: Post-sophomore Fellowship in Pathology, University of Minnesota Medical Center
- Dr. Harris was recognized in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 as a "Top Doctor" in Seattle magazine's annual survey.
- Padia SA, Kwan SW, Roudsari B, Monsky WL, Coveler AL, Harris WP. Journal of Clinical Interventional Radiology ISVIR: Superselective yttrium-90 radioembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma yields high response rates with minimal toxicity. Jul 2014 Volume 25(7):1067-1073
- Riehle KJ, Yeh MM, Yu JJ, Kenerson HL, Harris WP, Park JO, Yeung RS. Modern Pathology: mTORC1 and FGFR1 signaling in fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. Jan 2015 Volume 28(1):103-110
- McCormick KA, Menon MP, Harris WP. "Hepatocellular carcinoma. Global perspectives on cancer: incidence, care and experience (A4002C)" a Praeger imprint. 2015
- Hingorani SR, Harris WP, Beck JT, Berdov BA, Wagner SA, Pschevlotsky EM, Tjulandin SA, Gladkov OA, Holcombe RF, Korn R, Raghunand N, Dychter S, Jiang P, Shepard HM, Devoe CE. Clinical Cancer Research: Phase 1b study of PEGylated recombinant human hyaluronidase and gemcitabine in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Jun 2016 Volume 22(12):2848-2854
- Padia SA, Johnson GE, Horton KJ, Ingraham CR, Kogut MJ, Kwan S, Vaidya S, Monsky WL, Park JO, Bhattarcharya R, Hippe DS, Harris WP. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology: Segmental yttrium-90 radioembolization versus segmental chemoembolization for localized hepatocellular carcinoma: results of a single-center, retrospective, propensity score-matched study. Jun 2017 Volume 28(6):777-785
- Wong KM, Horton KJ, Coveler AL, Hingorani SR, Harris WP. Current Oncology Reports: Targeting the tumor stroma: the biology and clinical development of pegylated recombinant human hyaluronidase (PEGPH20). Jul 2017 Volume 19(7):47
- Hingorani SR, Zheng L, Bullock AJ, Seery TE, Harris WP, Sigal DS, Braiteh F, Ritch PS, Zalupski MM, Bahary N, Oberstein PE, Wang-Gillam A, Wu W, Chondros D, Jiang P, Khelifa S, Pu J, Aldrich C, Hendifar AE. Journal of Clinical Oncology: HALO 202: Randomized phase II study of PEGPH20 plus nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine versus nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine in patients with untreated, metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Feb 2018 Volume 36(4):359-366
- Harris WP, Wong KM, Saha S, El Dika I, Abou-Alfa GK. Seminars in Oncology: Biomarker-driven and molecular targeted therapies for hepatobiliary cancers. Mar 2018 In press (https://doi.org/10.1053/j.seminoncol.2018.03.002)
- Rimassa L, Assenat E, Peck-Radosavljevic M, Pracht M, Zagonel V, Mathurin P, Rota Caremoli E, Porta C, Daniele B, Bolondi L, Mazzaferro V, Harris W, Damjanov N, Pastorelli D, Reig M, Knox J, Negri F, Trojan J, López López C, Personeni N, Decaens T, Dupuy M, Sieghart W, Abbadessa G, Schwartz B, Lamar M, Goldberg T, Shuster D, Santoro A, Bruix J. Lancet Oncology: Tivantinib for second-line treatment of MET-high, advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (METIV-HCC): a final analysis of a phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled study. May 2018 Volume 19(5):682-693
- Abou-Alfa GK, Qin S, Ryoo BY, Lu SN, Yen CJ, Feng YH, Lim HY, Izzo F, Colombo M, Sarker D, Bolondi L, Vaccaro G, Harris WP, Chen Z, Hubner RA, Meyer T, Sun W, Harding JJ, Hollywood EM, Ma J, Wan PJ, Ly M, Bomalaski J, Johnston A, Lin CC, Chao Y, Chen LT. Annals of Oncology: Phase III randomized study of second line ADI-PEG 20 plus best supportive care versus placebo plus best supportive care in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Jun 2018 Volume 29(6) 1402-1408
- Attending Physician, Harborview Medical Center 2004-2007
- Attending Physician, Gastrointestinal Oncology, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance 2010-present
- GI Medical Oncology Consultant and Clinical Lead, Liver Tumor Group, University of Washington 2010-present
- Attending Physician, Hematology/Oncology Clinic, Harborview Medical Center 2013-2015
- Co-Director, Gastrointestinal Fellowship Rotation, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance 2013-present
- Co-Director, Medical Oncology Fellowship Lecture Series, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance 2013-present
- Co-Director, Blood and Cancer Medical School Course, University of Washington School of Medicine 2014-current
- Member, Hoosier Cancer Research Network 2015-present
- Scientific Advisor, Fibrolamellar Foundation 2015-present
- Founding Member, CAMILOT (Center for Advanced Minimally Invasive Liver Oncologic Therapies), University of Washington 2015-present
- Member, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Clinical Oversight Committee, University of Washington Medical Center/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 2015-present
- Member, Foundation Committee, University of Washington School of Medicine 2016-present
- Member, Scientific Review Committee, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 2017-present
- Advisory Board Member, GI Cancers Alliance 2017-present
- Member, ASCO Taxonomy Committee 2018-present
Dr. William P. Harris specializes in caring for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies. He has a particular interest in treating primary liver cancers and bile duct cancers. “I get to know my patients well. It’s an important part of my guiding them through very big and complicated decisions.”
Harris is an associate professor in the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Along with providing clinical care, he designs and conducts clinical trials focused on new treatment therapies for the GI tract with a focus on liver tumors.
“Oncology is a very unique specialty. I feel oncology physicians are positioned to practice a good balance of the art and science of medicine. It’s an exciting time to work in oncology. With the development of new and promising treatments, we have many more options for patients than in the past and we see more continuing to develop,” he says.
In addition to helping increase the availability of new drugs, Harris believes academic environments, such as SCCA, are uniquely positioned to offer patients access to clinical trials through which they can not only receive the most current advancements in care themselves, but “be part of the quest to discover new and effective therapies for patients in the future.”
To help his patients make good choices, Harris tries to educate them so they understand their unique case, and the available treatment options based on their personal perspective which includes how aggressively they want to approach the disease and the risks they are prepared to take to get the best results.
In his medical training, Harris pursued a background in general internal medicine before his subspecialty training. He was on the faculty of UW Department of Medicine for three years before entering his oncology training. “It was always my plan to work as an oncologist, but I wanted to have broader medical training first. This enhanced background helps me understand a patient’s entire medical history and to manage the full scope of the difficult problems they face.”
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, Harris graduated with a medical degree from Columbia University. At Columbia, he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, an honor bestowed to those finishing in the top 10 percent of his class. He completed his residency in internal medicine at University of Washington and a medical oncology fellowship at UW Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Harris also completed a post-sophomore fellowship in pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
During medical school Harris spent three years doing laboratory research designed to understand why cancers grow and how to treat them more effectively. A focus of his lab research was on mechanisms of resistance of chemotherapy and understanding how cancer learns to evade typical treatment. This research demonstrated how complicated cancer is, Harris says. And how it can be targeted with new agents which is very helpful in terms of how to design and select promising clinical trials for patients.
“Cancer therapy has come a long way,” says Harris, adding “With the cancers I treat, there is a lot of room for improvement when compared to other standard therapy for other cancers. Clinical trials offer patients access to new, promising agents as well as help improve medical science. The trials raise the bar for what will be next standard of care.”
When he’s not working, Harris enjoys spending time with wife, Christine Johnston, an infectious diseases specialist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the UW. Together they manage a “very active” household with their two sons. Harris is an avid soccer player, enjoys playing bridge, chess and reading.