Robert C. Knapp
Dr. Knapp is the former Director of Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology at the
Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. Knapp's complete CV is available as a PDF document and can be downloaded
Karsh photo 1985
Drs. Knapp and Goodman at surgery
Dr. Knapp's Fellows at retirement dinner 1993
Acute Renal Failure in Pregnancy and Septic Abortion
When I was a resident, I witnessed the appalling death rate from overwhelming
sepsis caused by illegally induced abortions. I published two papers
on the management of this problem in 1959 and 1960.1-2
Ovarian Cancer Research
The surgical evaluation of aortic lymph nodes
The surgical evaluation of the aortic lymph nodes revealed the presence of metastasis in patients who were thought to have cancer confined to the ovary. 3 Finding tumor in lymph nodes will change stage and often treatment.
Formation of Malignant Ascites in Ovarian Cancer
We used a murine model
that developed ovarian cancer and malignant ascites to assess the role of
tumor implants in the diaphragmatic lymphatic channels. These implants contributes
to the formation of malignant ascites.4-5
The detection of an ovarian cancer antigen in the blood of patients with ovarian cancer lead to the development of an immunoassay. This test has become the standard of medical practice for evaluating a pelvic mass, monitoring a patient with ovarian cancer receiving chemotherapy and determining recurrence after the completion of therapy.6-16
I described the dissection of the paravesical and
pararectal spaces in pelvic operations.17 This has enabled the surgeon to
of the pelvic retroperitoneal both in radical operations as well as benign
surgery. This dissection is of value to prevent ureteral injury as well as
visualization of the artery and veins.
Research To Date
Assess ovarian tumor markers that could lead to the early
detection of ovarian cancer. Participate in early detection grants evaluating
women at high risk for ovarian cancer. Serve as consultant to industry
in evaluating a variety of tumor markers.18-20
Lectures and Teaching
I teach a session on ovarian cancer at the Weill Medical School of Cornell University. I also have a seminar session related to the patient doctor interaction. We discuss such topics as the importance of empathy, giving bad news, informed consent, truth, and the non-conforming patient.21
Lectures at medical rounds, medical conferences
and hospital meetings.
In 1998 I relocated to New York City from Boston. I do not
maintain a practice.
Dr. Knapp has published 211 medical articles. He is one of the co-inventors
of the blood test for ovarian cancer, CA125. Selected papers are as follows:
- Knapp RC and Hellman LM: Acute renal failure in pregnancy.
Am J Obstet & Gynecol. 1959;78:570.
- Knapp RC, Platt MA and Douglas RG: Septic abortion:
five year analysis at the New York Hosptial. Obstet & Gynecol. 1960;15:344.
- Knapp RC and Friedman EA: Aortic lymph node metastases
in early ovartian cancer. Am J Obstet & Gynecol. 1974;119:1013.
- Feldman GB, Knapp RC, Order SE and Hellman S: The role of lymphatic obstruction
in the formation of ascites in a murine ovarian carcinoma. Cancer Res.
- Feldman GB and Knapp RC: Lymphatic drainage of the peritoneal
cavity and its significance in ovarian cancer. Am J Obstet &
- Bast RC Jr, Klug TL, St John E, Jenison E, Niloff JM, Lazarus H, Berkowitz
RS, Leavitt T, Griffiths CT, Parker L, Zarawski VR and Knapp RC: A radioimmunoassay
monoclonal antibody to monitor the course of epithelial ovarian cancer. N Engl
J Med. 1983;309:883.
- Klug TL, Bast RC Jr, Niloff JM, Knapp RC, Zurawski VR Jr: A monoclonal
antibody immunoradiometric assay for an antigenic determinant (CA 125)
associated with human epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Cancer Res. 1984;44:1048.
- Niloff JM, Bast RC Jr, Schaetzl EM and Knapp RC: Predictive value of CA 125
antigen at second-look procedures in ovarian cancer.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985;151:981.
- Berek JS, Knapp RC, Malkasian GD, Lavin PT, Hacker NF, Whitney C,
Niloff JM, Bast RC Jr: CA 125 serum levels correlate with second-look operations among
ovarian cancer patients: Obstet Gynecol. 1986;67:685.
- Niloff JM, Knapp RC, Lavin PT, Malkasian GD, Berek JS, Mortel R,
Whitney C, Zurawski VR, Bast RC Jr: The CA 125 assay as a predicator of clinical recurrence
in epithelial ovarian cancer. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986;155:56.
- Lavin PT, Knapp RC, Malkasian G, Whitney CW, Berek JC, Bast RC Jr: CA 125
for the monitoring of ovarian carcinoma during primary therapy.
Obstet Gynecol. 1987;69:223.
- Finkler NJ, Benacerraf B, Lavin PT, Wojciechowski C, Knapp RC: Comparison
of serum CA 125, clinical impression and ultrasound in the preoperative evaluation
of ovarian masses. Obstet Gynecol 1988;72:659.
- Malkasian GC, Knapp RC, Lavin PT, Zurawski VR, Podratz RC, Stanhope
CR, Mortel R, Berek JS, Bast RC Jr, Ritts RE: Preoperative evaluation of serum CA 125
levels in premenopausal and postmenopausal patients with pelvic masses: Discrimination
benign from malignant disease. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1988;159:341.
- Knapp RC, Lau CC: Monoclonal antibodies and radioimmunoconjugates: Keeping
feasibility at center stage. In: J Clin Oncol 1990;8:1938.
- Mok Ch, Tsao SW, Knapp RC, Fishbaugh PM, Lau CC: Unifocal origin of
advanced human epithelial ovarian cancers. Cancer Research 1992;52:5119.
- Einhorn N, Sjövall K, Knapp RC, Schoenfeld DA, Hall P, Scully RE, Bast RC Jr,
Zurawski VR Jr: Prospective evaluation of serum CA 125 radioimmunoassay
levels for early detection of ovarian cancer:. Obstet Gynecol 1992;80:14.
- Knapp RC, Donahue VC and Friedman EA: Dissection of
paravesical and pararectal spaces in pelvic operations. Surg Gynecol &
- Knapp RC: Reflections on ovarian cancer: A 33-year experience.
Gynecol Oncol, 1994; 54:124.
- Skates SJ, Xu Feng-J i, Yin-Hua Y, Sjovall K, Einhorn N, YuChiao
C, Bast RC Jr, Knapp RC: Toward an optimal algorithm for ovarian
cancer screening with longitudinal tumor markers. Cancer, 1995; 76:2004.
- Skates Sj, Menon IJ, MacDonald N, Rosenthal AN, Oram DH, Knapp
RC, Jacobs IJ: Calculation of the risk of ovarian cancer from
serial CA 125 values for preclinical detection in postmenopausal women.
J Clin Oncol. 2003;
- Skates SJ, Triano R, Knapp RC: Longitudinal CA 125 Detection of sporadic
papillary serous carcinoma of the peritoneum. Int J Gynecol Cancer 2003;13:693-696.
- Chervenak FA, McCullough LB, Knapp RC, Caputo TA, Barber HRK: A clinically
comprehensive ethical framework for offering & recommending treatment
of cancer before and during pregnancy. Cancer. 2004; 100: 215.