Jennifer M. Ayscue

Jennifer M. Ayscue, MDJennifer M. Ayscue, MD, is a senior colorectal surgeon and section director, MedStar Colorectal Surgery Program, MedStar Washington Hospital Center (MWHC). In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she is an assistant professor, Department of Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Dr. Ayscue specializes in the surgical treatment of patients with colon and rectal disorders, including rectal cancer. At MWHC, she serves as chair of the Practice and Audit Committees for the Department of Surgery, and she is a member of the Clinical Improvement Committee.

She is frequently invited to speak at meetings at hospitals and foundations across the country. She has spoken on topics ranging from incontinence and constipation to gastrointestinal bleeding, treatment of rectal cancer, and surgery for inflammatory bowel disease. Her research has been published in Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, the American Journal of Surgery and other peer-reviewed journals. She also has written chapters in medical textbooks, including one developed in conjunction with the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) and scheduled for publication in the next edition of The ASCRS Textbook of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Dr. Ayscue is a fellow of the American College of Surgery, and she is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. She is a two-time recipient of MWHC’s Keystone Faculty Educator Award. For several years, she has been listed as a Top Doctor for Colorectal Surgery by Washingtonian Magazine, as well as a Top Surgeon by the Guide to America’s Top Surgeons published by the Consumers' Research Council of America. She currently serves on the Healthcare Economics and Quality Assessment and Safety committees for the ASCRS. She is a past president of the Metropolitan DC chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and she is a member of the American Medical Association. Through the American Cancer Society, she volunteers her time promoting awareness of the need for colon and rectal cancer screening.

Dr. Ayscue’s medical degree is from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. She completed a residency at the University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, and a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at MWHC.

Research Interests

Dr. Ayscue’s research interests include

  • Rectal cancer
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Constipation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic surgery.

Selected Research

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

Dr. Ayscue is a principal 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 FOLFOX. Dr. Ayscue is involved in the screening, recruiting, and oversight of this Phase 2 and 3 trial.

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

As a principal investigator on this project, sponsored by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Ayscue is involved in screening and recruiting patients and providing oversight for this Phase 2 study. 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.

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 principal investigator on this project, Dr. Ayscue is involved in screening and recruiting patients and providing oversight for the study.

View Dr. Ayscue’s research on PubMed.

Visit Dr. Ayscue’s clinical practice page.


  • Research Areas
  • Other Medical
  • Other Surgical