HOMEResearch Divisions > Division of Cancer Biology

Division of Cancer Biology


Our goal is to identify genetic lesions and epigenetic alterations associated with the development and progression of human solid cancers and use this information to develop more effective approaches for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases. We have been primarily engaged in research of malignant mesothelioma (MM), which develops following asbestos exposure after a long latent period. MM is very aggressive and highly refractory to conventional therapeutic modalities such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. Although only combination chemotherapy of cisplatin and pemetrexed has been used for patients with advanced stage of MM, immune checkpoint inhibitors have recently shown potential as drugs for a subset of MM patients.
We have been studying the genetics and biology of MM cells using various approaches, including that by establishing cell lines from patient tissues, comprehensively analyzing genetic and epigenetic alterations by next-generation sequencing, and conducting in vitro and in vivo analysis to determine how altered cell signaling pathways which are often dysregulated in MM confer malignant phenotypes to normal mesothelial cells. Based on these basic research results, we aim to develop new tools for new molecular targeted therapies against this very aggressive disease.