José G. Guillem, MD, MPH, FACS, FASCRS


Director, Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Family Registry

Conditions Treated

Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeon Jose Guillem
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About Me

I am a colorectal surgeon and I have been part of the Memorial Sloan Kettering team since 1991. I specialize in caring for people with primary and recurrent colon and rectal cancer, early-onset colorectal cancer, and hereditary colorectal cancer. I am also the Director of MSK’s Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Family Registry. My surgical expertise includes the use of minimally invasive techniques, such as transanal endoscopic microsurgery, endoscopy, laparoscopy, and robotic procedures. These techniques allow me to provide my patients with optimal surgical outcomes and shortened recovery times. They can also preserve important aspects of their quality of life, such as anal, bladder, and sexual function.

Since the 1990s, MSK’s Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Family Registry has grown into an important tool for patients, families, and doctors around the world. It provides data that deepen our understanding of early-onset and hereditary colorectal cancer. The result is newer and better treatments, screening recommendations, and surveillance programs. We are then able to identify people who are at a high risk for developing colorectal cancer, and we can monitor them closely. When we can catch any cancer that may develop sooner, the chance of an improved outcome increases.

My research has been funded in part by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Research Foundation (ASCRSRF), and generous patient contributions. I have investigated the causes of colorectal cancer growth and metastases, early-onset and inherited forms of the disease, as well as rectal cancer response to preoperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

During the course of my career, I have co-authored more than 300 journal articles and book chapters, and have lectured extensively, both nationally and internationally. I have served on the editorial boards of ten leading medical journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Annals of Surgery. I have held several leadership positions related to my commitment to optimal patient care, including past president of the ASCRSRF, co-founder and past president of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer, and past Chair of MSK’s Surgical Quality Assurance Committee. 

At MSK, caring is at the core of everything we do. We understand that patients and families are going through a very difficult time in their lives. Many of us have been there. Along with an entire team of care providers, I am committed to providing optimal care before, during, and after surgery. I accomplish this by listening to my patients, understanding their individual circumstances, and developing a care plan that best fits their specific diagnosis and needs.

  • Clinical Expertise: Primary and Recurrent Colorectal and Anal Cancer; Hereditary Colorectal Cancer; Early-Age-of-Onset Colorectal Cancer; Intestinal Carcinoid Tumors; Abdominal Desmoid Tumors; Crohn's Disease; Colitis; Benign Anorectal Diseases; Pseudomyxoma Peritonei; Preservation of the Anal Sphincter and Sexual and Bladder Function Following Rectal Cancer Surgery; Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM); Endoscopy; Laparoscopy; Robotic Surgery
  • Awards and Honors: Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2005-2018)
  • Languages Spoken: English; Spanish
  • Education: MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • Residencies: Surgery - Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Fellowships: Colorectal Surgery - Lahey Clinic Medical Center
  • Board Certifications: Surgery; Colon and Rectal Surgery

See My Colleagues


Guillem JG (2017). The Management of Rectal Cancer in Cameron JL, Cameron AM (12th Edition). Current Surgical Therapy. New York: Elsevier.

Guillem JG. (2015). The Role of Surgery in Cancer Prevention in Devita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA (10th Edition). Cancer. Philadelphia: Wolters Klumer.

Guillem JG, Wood WC, Moley JF, Berchuck A, Karlan BY, Mutch DG, Gagel RF, Weitzel J, Morrow M, Weber BL, Giardiello F, Rodriguez-Bigas MA, Church J, Gruber S, Offit K; ASCO; SSO ASCO/SSO review of current role of risk-reducing surgery in common hereditary cancer syndromes. J Clin Oncol. 2006 Oct 1;24(28):4642-60. Review.

Guillem JG, Glogowski E, Moore HG, Nafa K, Markowitz AJ, Shia J, Offit K, Ellis NA. Single-amplicon MSH2 A636P mutation testing in Ashkenazi Jewish patients with colorectal cancer: role in presurgical management. Ann Surg. 2007 Apr;245(4):560-5.

Guillem JG, Lee-Kong SA. Autonomic nerve preservation during rectal cancer resection. J Gastrointest Surg. 2010 Feb;14(2):416-22. doi: 10.1007/s11605-009-0941-4. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Guillem JG, Puig-La Calle J Jr, Cellini C, Murray M, Ng J, Fazzari M, Paty PB, Quan SH, Wong WD, Cohen AM. Varying features of early age-of-onset “sporadic” and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer patients. Dis Colon Rectum. 1999 Jan;42(1):36-42. PMID: 10211518.

Visit PubMed for a full listing of José G. Guillem’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

Research is integral to our mission at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment. For you, this could mean access to a new therapy or therapy combination. Click to see a list of the trials I’m currently leading.

Clinical Trials Led by José G. Guillem


Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicare and New York State Medicaid also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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