Most recently developed cancer drugs are molecularly targeted and the use of these drugs increases so have the treatment options for patients. It remains largely unknown which drugs are best for a particular patient, what is the optimal dose, and how to distinguish responders and non-responders in advance (“right drug, right dose and right patients”). By analyzing clinical samples such as tissue and blood together with efficacy and safety data obtained in clinical trials, we will develop methods to better predict therapeutic response and potential side effects.
Research and EducationBecause antineoplastic drugs have a complex pharmacological profile and a narrow therapeutic window, physicians treating cancer patients must be experts in achieving a good balance between safety and efficacy. Our training aims to support young physicians on their path toward becoming board-certified medical oncologists. In our outpatient oncology clinic, trainees are responsible for management of cancer patients under the direct supervision of instructors, providing an ideal learning environment. Trainees will obtain immediate feedback to improve communication skills, and are expected to plan and conduct epidemiological and clinical studies to resolve unmet needs or real-world clinical questions. Trainees will also be exposed to registration clinical trials as on-the-job training.
Molecularly targeted therapies based on analysis of the molecular mechanisms of cancer cell growth have improved the survival outcomes of cancer patients. It is now becoming clear that non-cancerous stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment support tumor growth. Through our basic research focusing on cross-talk between cancer cells and stroma, we aim to discover novel targets for cancer therapy.
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- Niikura N, Odisio BC, Tokuda Y, Symmans FW, Hortobagyi GN, Ueno NT. Latest biopsy approach for suspected metastases in patients with breast cancer. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 10(12):711-9, 2013.
- Ishiguro H, Toi M. Colony-Stimulating Factors for Febrile Neutropenia. N Engl J Med. 369(3):284-6, 2013.
- Niikura N, Liu J, Hayashi N, Mittendorf EA, Gong Y, Palla SL, Tokuda Y, Gonzalez-Angulo AM, Hortobagyi GN, Ueno NT. Loss of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression in metastatic sites of HER2-overexpressing primary breast tumors. J Clin Oncol. 30(6):593-9, 2012.
- Hirota T, Lee JW, St John PC, Sawa M, Iwaisako K, Noguchi T, Pongsawakul PY, Sonntag T, Welsh DK, Brenner DA, Doyle FJ 3rd, Schultz PG, Kay SA. Identification of small molecule activators of cryptochrome. Science. 337(6098):1094-7, 2012.
Target Therapy OncologyAssociate Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro
Assistant Professor Keiko Iwaisako
Assistant Professor Naoki Niikura
Visiting Scholar Shigehira Saji (Department of Medical Oncology, Fukushima Medical University)