Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc
Professor, Department of Harvard-Forsyth Oral Biology, Harvard School Of Dental Medicine
Senior Physician, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry, Brigham And Women's Hospital
Chief, Division of Oral Medicine, Surgery, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
DF/HCC Program AffiliationHead and Neck Cancer
Toxicities have long been associated with cancer treatment regimens and may result in tissue damage and behavioral impairment. Studies by our group focus on understanding the fundamental biological processes that, when triggered by cancer drugs or radiation, lead to these events, identifying the genetic factors that predispose patients to toxicities, and developing and testing effective toxicity interventions. Using animal models which closely mimic human responses to cancer drugs or radiation therapy, we have identified the biological pathways that are associated with injuries of the GI tract, skin, and lung, cancer regimen-related cognitive dysfunction and cancer-related fatigue. Using novel analytics, we have been able to identify specific clustered DNA fragments that, when obtained from the saliva of patients before treatment, can effectively predict toxicity risk. And with industry partners, have applied modeling to assist in the development of effective preventive treatments for regimen-related toxicities. As part of an international collaboration, we participate in ongoing assessments of the health and economic burdens of the toxicities of cancer therapy and supportive cancer care.
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