William R. Brugge, MD, is the past director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is interested in the diagnosis and treatment of early gastrointestinal malignancies.




Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

Digestive Healthcare Center

Clinical Interests
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic cystic lesions
  • Therapeutic endoscopy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Gastric (stomach) cancer
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic biliary disorders
  • Stromal cell tumors
  • IPMN (intraductal papillary mucinous neoplams)
Medical Education
  • MD, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Residency, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • Fellowship, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Board Certifications
  • Internal Medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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William R. Brugge, MD is the director of the Pancreas-Biliary Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. You may contact him via email: WBrugge@partners.org.

Dr. Brugge is an active clinical consultant in gastroenterology and gastrointestinal endoscopy, focusing on patients with complex pancreatic diseases. His research has focused on the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, developing a variety of endoscopic techniques to aspirate malignant and pre-malignant lesions of the pancreas, including mucinous cysts, intra-ductal tumors, and masses. He also performs therapeutic endoscopic procedures such as ERCP, stent placement, FNA and EMR. Currently he is currently conducting a trial of injection therapy for pancreatic cystic neoplasms.

Procedures performed:

  • Upper GI endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Esophageal dilation therapy
  • Stent placement
  • Endoscopic ultrasound with fine needle aspiration
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Confocal laser endomicroscopy
  • Radiofrequency ablation of Barrett's esophagus (BARRX)

Dr. Brugge is a Fellow of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association. Dr. Brugge has published more than 200 manuscripts in the field of gastrointestinal endoscopy.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

My clinical research program focuses on the early detection of gastrointestinal malignancy using advanced endoscopic techniques. Endoscopic confocal endomicroscopy is a new endoscopic technique for detecting neoplasms in the GI tract.  We also use advanced endoscopic techniques for the detection of early pancreatic malignancy arising from cystic lesions of the pancreas. Confocal needle imaging is performed using a novel catheter placed within a EUS needle and guided into a cystic lesion. A variety of cyst fluid markers are used to enhance the diagnostic accuracy of EUS imaging alone. We have examined the accuracy of CEA and cytology in the diagnosis of mucinous cystic lesions. Currently we are investigating new molecular markers such as kRAS and GNAS. For a list of current research projects, please visit Dr. Brugge's research page.

We are currently directing several clinical trials, including EUS guided Abraxane injection of pancreas cysts and a pilot study of confocal endomicroscopy of pancreatic cysts (visit the Clinical Trials website of the National Institutes of Health for more information).


View my most recent publications at PubMed

1.Impact of next-generation sequencing on the clinical diagnosis of pancreatic cysts.Jones M, Kadayifci A, Brugge W  Pitman MB. Gastrointest Endosc 2015 Aug 5. 

2. Oh HC, Brugge WR.EUS-guided pancreatic cyst ablation: a critical review. Gastrointest Endosc. 2013 Jan 12.

3. Recurrences are common after endoscopic ampullectomy for adenoma in the familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) syndrome.Ma T, Kelsey PB, Forcione DG, Brugge WR, Syngal S, Chung DC. Surg Endosc. 2014 Aug;28(8):2349-56.44

4. A Combination of Molecular Markers and Clinical Features Improve the Classification of Pancreatic Cysts. Springer S, Brugge W, Vogelstein B, Lennon AM.Gastroenterology. 2015 Aug 4. 

5.Das KK, Forcione DG, Bounds BC, Brugge WR, Das KM.Gut. 2013 Nov 25. mAb Das-1 is specific for high-risk and malignant intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN).

6. Characterization of epithelial subtypes of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas with endoscopic ultrasound and cyst fluid analysis. Yoon WJ, Daglilar ES, Pitman MB, Brugge WR. Endoscopy. 2014 Dec;46(12):1071-7.7.

7. Controlled swine bile duct ablation with a bipolar radiofrequency catheter Daglilar ES, Yoon WJ, Brugge WR 2013 May;77(5):815-9

8. Peritoneal seeding in IPMN of the pancreas patients who underwent endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration: the PIPE Study. Yoon WJ, Daglilar ES, Pitman MB, Brugge WR. Endoscopy. 2014 May;46(5):382-7.

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News & Events

  • New Radiology and Endoscopy Techniques Are Improving Treatment of Pancreatic and Biliary Disorders

    Patients seeking care for pancreatic and biliary system disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital's Digestive Healthcare Center receive the latest in diagnostic and therapeutic treatments from a collaborative team of experts, including gastroenterologists, interventional endoscopists, pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and radiation therapists.

  • Physician-researchers discover keys to understanding pancreatic cysts

    Up until the mid-1990s, physicians knew little about the relationship between pancreatic cysts and pancreatic cancer. But collaborative research conducted by gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists at the Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center has led to a much greater understanding of pancreatic cystadenomas and what makes some cysts progress to cancer. These advances are opening up new therapies to target this deadly cancer early on, when it is most treatable.


  • Radiofrequency of the Bile Duct

    Endoscopic bipolar Radiofrequency ablation is a new technique for ablation of neoplastic tissue in the bile duct.

  • Diagnosis of pancreatic cystic neoplasms (for medical professionals)

    Cystic pancreatic lesions are being detected with increasing frequency, and pancreatic cystic neoplasms account for the majority of these lesions. Designed for medical professionals, this video illustrates the use of endoscopic ultrasound and cyst fluid analysis in differential diagnosis of cystic pancreatic lesions.

  • Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration of the pancreas

    Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) is performed with a linear echoendoscope using endoscopic imaging as well as ultrasound guidance. During FNA, the needle can be seen entering the pancreas. For cystic lesions, fluid is removed. For solid lesions, cytologic material is sampled.


Gastroenterology Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-724-0578617-724-3715
Fax: 617-724-5997

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