Thomas J. Stahl, MD, is a board-certified colon and rectal surgeon and the interim chairman of the Department of Surgery, MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC). In addition to his clinical responsibilities, he is an assistant professor of surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center. Dr. Stahl serves as the regional director of the MedStar Colorectal Surgery Program. With more than 25 years of experience in treating colorectal disease, Dr. Stahl is frequently consulted as an expert on topics including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer screening and surgery for Crohn’s disease.

Dr. Stahl is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Both the National Institutes of Health and the Institute for Basic and Applied Research in Surgery have granted him awards in support of his work. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, Oncology and the American Journal of Surgery. In addition, he has presented his research at more than 40 medical symposia nationwide.

At MWHC, he is the associate program director for fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery, and he is a member of the Department of Surgery’s Residency Review and Surgical Practice committees. Among other honors, Dr. Stahl has been a three-time recipient of the Keystone Educator Award bestowed by MWHC’s Department of Surgery.

Dr. Stahl’s medical degree is from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He completed an internship and a residency in general surgery at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic. He then completed a fellowship in colorectal surgery at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, MA.

Research Interests

Dr. Stahl’s research interests include

  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Clostridium difficile colitis
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal cancer screening.

Selected Research

Chemotherapy Alone or Chemotherapy Plus Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer Undergoing Surgery (the PROSPECT study)

Dr. Stahl is an investigator on this study sponsored by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, National Cancer Institute. Although radiation therapy to the pelvis has been a standard part of rectal cancer treatment, some patients experience undesirable side effects from the radiation. This study is designed to compare the effects of the standard treatment of chemotherapy and radiation to chemotherapy using a combination regimen known as FOLFOX (the drugs 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin and leucovorin) and selective use of the standard treatment, depending on patient response to the FOLFOX regimen. Dr. Stahl is involved in the screening and recruiting of patients for this Phase 2 and 3 trial.

Multi-Center Randomized Trial Evaluating 3-Year Disease-Free Survival in Patients With Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer

This research will test whether patients with locally advanced rectal cancer treated with total neoadjuvant therapy and total mesorectal excision or non-operative management will have improved survival compared with patients treated with chemoradiation therapy, total mesorectal excision and adjuvant chemotherapy. As an investigator on this project, sponsored by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Stahl is involved in screening and recruiting patients for this Phase 2 study.

Radiation Therapy and Fluorouracil With or Without Combination Chemotherapy Followed by Surgery in Patients With Rectal Cancer

Providing radiation therapy and chemotherapy together before surgery may shrink the tumor and reduce the amount of tissue that needs to be removed. This Phase 2 trial, sponsored by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is designed to study how radiation therapy together with fluorouracil and with or without combination therapy works in treating patients undergoing surgery for stage 2 or 3 rectal cancer. As a co-investigator on this project, Dr. Stahl is involved in screening and recruiting patients for this study.

View Dr. Stahl’s research on PubMed.

Visit Dr. Stahl’s clinical practice page.


Research Areas

  • Other Medical
    Other Surgical