Peter Edward Fecci


Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

As the Director of both the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program and the Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis at Duke University, I focus our programmatic interests on the design, optimization, and monitoring of immune-based treatment platforms for patients with intracranial tumors, whether primary or metastatic. Within this broad scope, however, my own group looks more specifically at limitations to immunotherapeutic success, with a particular focus on understanding and reversing T cell dysfunction in patients with glioblastoma (GBM) and brain metastases. We employ a systematic approach to categorizing T cell dysfunction (Woroniecka et al, Clin Cancer Res 2018 Aug 15;24(16):3792-3802), and whereas our earlier work addressed concerns for regulatory T cell-induced tolerance, we now heavily study T cell ignorance and exhaustion, as well. Regarding the former, we recently published the novel phenomenon of S1P1-mediated bone marrow T cell sequestration in patients with intracranial tumors (Chongsathidkiet et al, Nat Medicine 2018 Sep;24(9):1459-1468). Regarding the latter, we have likewise recently identified and characterized exhaustion as a significant limitation to T-cell function within GBM (Woroniecka et al, Clin Cancer Res 2018 Sep 1;24(17):4175-4186). I very much look to collaboratively integrate our approaches with others investigating innovative treatment options. I continue my focus on combining strategies for reversing T cell deficits with current and novel immune-based platforms as a means of deriving and improving rational and precise anti-tumor therapies. It is my sincerest desire to forge a career focused on co-operative, multi-disciplinary, organized brain tumor therapy. Ultimately, my goal is to help coordinate the efforts of a streamlined and effective center for brain tumor research and clinical care. I hope to play some role in ushering in a period where the science and treatment arms of brain tumor therapy suffer no disjoint, but instead represent the convergent efforts of researchers, neuro-oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, biomedical engineers, and neurosurgeons alike. I hope to see such synergy become standard of care.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Assistant Professor in Pathology
  • Assistant Research Professor in Immunology
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 201 Sands Bldg., Box 3050, Durham, NC 27710
  • Office Phone: (919) 681-2610
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Massachusetts General Hospital, 2014
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 2012
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, 2013
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008
  • Ph.D. Duke University, 2007
  • M.D. Duke University School of Medicine, 2007

Research Interests

Brain Tumor Immunotherapy
Cancer-Induced Immune Dysfunction
Brain Metastasis

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Paper of the Year. American Association of Physicists in Medicine. 2017
  • Visting Scholar. National Institutes of Health. 2017
  • Duke Health Scholars Award. Duke University School of Medicine. 2016
  • Prince Mahidol Youth Mentor Award. Prince Mahidol Award Foundation. 2016
  • Alpha Omega Alpha. Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. 2015
  • Resident Advocate Award. Duke University Department of Neurosurgery. 2015
  • Sontag Distinguished Scientist Award. Sontag Foundation. 2015
  • Matson Award for Best Basic Science Research. New England Neurosurgical Society. 2013
  • Preuss Award for Neuro-Oncologic Research. Congress of Neurological Surgeons. 2013
  • NIH Loan Repayment Program Award. National Institutes of Health. 2011
  • Resident Teaching Award. Tufts University School of Medicine. 2008
  • Neurosurgery Award. Duke University Department of Neurosurgery. 2007
  • Keynote Speaker. Society for Neuro-Oncology. 2006
  • Eugene A. Stead Scholar. Duke University School of Medicine. 2001
  • Medical Scientist Training Program Fellowship. National Institutes of Health. 2001
  • Cornell-Diamante Scholarship. Cornell University. 1999
  • Merrill Presidential Scholar. Cornell University. 1999
  • Nanaline H. Duke Scholar. Duke University School of Medicine. 1999

Courses Taught

  • MOLMED 301B: Research in MOLMED - Oncological Sciences
  • NSS 301B: Research in NSS
  • PATHOL 793: Research Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Chongsathidkiet, P; Jackson, C; Koyama, S; Loebel, F; Cui, X; Farber, SH; Woroniecka, K; Elsamadicy, AA; Dechant, CA; Kemeny, HR; Sanchez-Perez, L; Cheema, TA; Souders, NC; Herndon, JE; Coumans, J-V; Everitt, JI; Nahed, BV; Sampson, JH; Gunn, MD; Martuza, RL; Dranoff, G; Curry, WT; Fecci, PE, Author Correction: Sequestration of T cells in bone marrow in the setting of glioblastoma and other intracranial tumors., Nature Medicine (2019) [10.1038/s41591-019-0355-0] [abs].
  • Suryadevara, CM; Desai, R; Farber, SH; Choi, BD; Swartz, AM; Shen, SH; Gedeon, PC; Snyder, DJ; Herndon, JE; Healy, P; Reap, EA; Archer, GE; Fecci, PE; Sampson, JH; Sanchez-Perez, L, Preventing Lck Activation in CAR T Cells Confers Treg Resistance but Requires 4-1BB Signaling for Them to Persist and Treat Solid Tumors in Nonlymphodepleted Hosts., Clinical Cancer Research : an Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, vol 25 no. 1 (2019), pp. 358-368 [10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-18-1211] [abs].
  • Tanksley, J; Adamson, J; Torok, J; Kim, GJ; Floyd, SR; Fecci, P; Kirkpatrick, JP, Surgical Cavities Exhibit Substantial Remodeling Post Resection of Brain Metastases: Implications for Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, vol 102 no. 3 (2018), pp. S151-S151 [10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.06.365] [abs].
  • Woroniecka, K; Fecci, PE, T-cell exhaustion in glioblastoma, Oncotarget, vol 9 no. 82 (2018), pp. 35287-35288 [abs].
  • Atik, AF; Suryadevara, CM; Schweller, RM; West, JL; Healy, P; Herndon, JE; Congdon, KL; Sanchez-Perez, L; McLendon, RE; Archer, GE; Fecci, P; Sampson, JH, Hyaluronic acid based low viscosity hydrogel as a novel carrier for Convection Enhanced Delivery of CAR T cells, Journal of Clinical Neuroscience : Official Journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, vol 56 (2018), pp. 163-168 [10.1016/j.jocno.2018.06.005] [abs].