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Kenneth K. Tanabe, MD

Professor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Chief, Surgical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Contact Info

Kenneth Tanabe
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA, 02114
Mailstop: Yawkey 7.924
Phone: 617-724-3868
Fax: 617-724-3895
Email not available


Kahren Johnson
Administrative Assistant
Harvard Medical School
Phone: 617-724-3868

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Gastrointestinal Malignancies, Co-Leader
Cutaneous Oncology and Melanoma

DF/HCC Associations

Member, Center Scientific Council

Lab Website

Tanabe Lab

Research Abstract

Clinical Research Areas: Liver cancer surgery and melanoma surgery.
Laboratory Research Areas: 1) Viral oncolysis/gene therapy; 2) hepatocellular transformation.

One laboratory research focus is on viral oncolysis of solid tumors. We have examined Herpes simplex virus 1 immediately early gene regulation as a strategy to achieve preferential HSV-1 replication in transformed cells compared to normal cells. We are also involved in integration of specific therapeutic transgenes into these viral mutants. The laboratory work centers on genetic engineering of viral mutants, preclinical characterization, and clinical trials of viral oncolytic gene therapy.

A second laboratory research focus is on pathways involved in hepatocellular transformation to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the setting of cirrhosis. Recent studies on the EGF gene demonstrate a functional single nucleotide polymorphism that increases serum and liver EGF levels and significantly raises risk for HCC. Prevention of HCC by blockade of EGFR signalling can prevent HCC in preclinical models.


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