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 - Affiliate Graduate School - National Cancer Center
Molecular Gastrointestinal Oncology
Esophageal and gastric cancers, which focus on East Asia including Japan, in terms of costly new drug development, had been shunned from pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the United States. We have developed the predictor of patients with esophageal cancer sensitive to chemoradiotherapy. In gastric cancer, we have also developed an in vitro diagnostic (IVD) to select patients who are approved for neoadjuvant chemotherapy by using mini DNA chips. Furthermore, for treatment-resistant cases, we classify the cancer stem cells based on the pathophysiology, and develop innovative therapies in cooperation with companies.

  Hiroki Sasaki, Ph.D.
Visiting Professor
Research and Education
National Cancer Center is one of the bases of multilayered omics analyses in our country, and also plays an important role in introducing new drugs to the clinical sites as a Phase I Center. It is possible to learn about the leading-edge technology and bioinformatics on the omics analyses, and to experience the translational research through the cooperation between industry and academia. Development of IVD: We aim to develop a kit for IVD for predicting sensitivity to chemoradiotherapy of esophageal cancer by using the microarray data obtained from biopsies of more than 300 cases. And we wish to conduct the multi-center prospective cohort study using the kit. Identification of cancer stem cells from tumors of non-respondor: We aim to establish the cell lines from circulating esophageal cancer cells survived in the thoracic duct lymph after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and to capture the essential features of cancer stem cells for developing new therapies. We also aim to isolate cancer stem cells from the cell lines established from the gastric cancer-derived ascites for developing the therapies to suppress peritoneal dissemination.
Identification of gene mutations available to discover new drugs: We aim to identify oncogenes, which were activated by mutations and translocation, by next generation sequencer analysis of the above cell lines. And then we conduct their in vitro and in vivo functional analysis by using the patient-derived cell lines.

Division of Genetics
National Cancer Center
Laboratory Head Hiroki Sasaki
TEL +81-3-3542-2511(ext. 3141)
FAX +81-3-3248-1631
Recent Publications
1. Aoyagi K, et al., Artificially induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in surgicasl subjects: its implications in clinical and basic cancer research. PLoS One, 6(4):e18196, 2011.
2. Wang K, et al., Integrative genomics identifies LMO1 as a neuroblastoma oncogene. Nature, 469: 216-220, 2011.
3. Saeki N, et al., Chromosome 1q22 is a susceptibility locus of diffuse-type gastric cancer, harboring a functional SNP of MUC1. Gastroenterology, 140: 892-902, 2011.
4. Ueda T, et al., Relation between microRNA expression and progression and prognosis of gastric cancer: a microRNA expression analysis. Lancet Oncol., 11: 136-146, 2010.
5. Sakamoto H, et al., Genetic variation in PSCA is associated with susceptibility to diffuse-type gastric cancer. Nat Genet, 40:730-740, 2008.