Laboratories

Laboratory of Molecular Target Therapy of Cancer (The Cancer Chemotherapy Center of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research) Recruiting students for the academic year 2018

 Research on molecular target therapy of cancer has come to play a central role in anticancer drug development. As the clinically launched molecular targeting drugs have proved themselves more effective and relatively safer than conventional anticancer drugs, expectation to molecular targeting drugs is growing much bigger than ever. Laboratory of Molecular Target Therapy of Cancer aims to develop new molecular cancer therapeutics. This Laboratory consists of three independent labs, which are investigating mechanisms of cancer metastasis and anticancer drug resistance (Fujita lab), cellular adaptation to tumor microenvironment (Tomida lab), and telomere maintenance and cancer stemness (Seimiya lab), respectively. Based on these basic researches, they are also conducting applied researches for new drug development.


Tumor metastasis, drug resistance, and development of new therapies

Professor Naoya FUJITA
The Cancer Chemotherapy Center of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research
+81-(0)3-3570-0481
E-mail: naoya.fujita{at}jfcr.or.jp
Lab HP

Introduction

【Keyword】Drug Resistance, Tumor Metastasis, Cancer Stem Cell, Tumor Evolution, Immuno-Oncology

 Although cancer treatments have gradually improved during past decades, we are still facing problems to surmount in prevention and therapy of cancers. Recent advances in molecular-based understanding of cell proliferation have provided the rationale for the molecular-targeted therapy to control cancer. The aim of Fujita’s Lab is to identify possible targets, to clarify the function of molecular targets, and ultimately to develop effective molecular targeted therapies of cancer. For this purpose, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms of podoplanin-induced tumor metastasis, resistance to molecular-targeted drugs, and stemness in cancer cells. In addition, we are developing podoplanin-targeted neutralizing antibodies and small compounds for clinical applications.

Genome science-driven research for cell biology and chemotherapy

Professor Akihiro TOMIDA
The Cancer Chemotherapy Center of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research
+81-(0)3-3570-0514
E-mail: akihiro.tomida{at}jfcr.or.jp
Lab HP

Introduction

【Keyword】Tumor Microenvironment, Drug Discovery, Tumor Metabolism, Unfolded Protein Response, Autophagy

 Cancer cells in solid tumors are often surrounded by the stressful microenvironment, such as hypoxia (low oxygen) and low glucose, due to insufficient blood supply. The stressful microenvironment is thought to be a major cause of tumor progression and chemotherapy resistance. However, such stress conditions are not observed in normal tissue, and therefore, can be exploited for selective killing of tumor cells. To identify new molecular targets, we are studying the molecular mechanisms of the cellular adaptive response to microenvironmental stress, by using the genome technologies. Specifically, we are interested in unfolded protein response, hypoxic response, glucose metabolism, autophagy and epigenetic regulation. We are also studying inhibitors of the adaptive response and their mechanisms of action to develop a new class of molecular cancer therapeutics.

Telomeres, cell immortality, and cancer stemness

Associate Professor Hiroyuki SEIMIYA
The Cancer Chemotherapy Center of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research
+81-(0)3-3570-0466
E-mail: hseimiya{at}jfcr.or.jp
Lab HP

Introduction

【Keyword】Molecular Target, Drug Discovery, Telomere, G-quadruplex, Cancer Stem Cell

 Unusual maintenance of chromosome ends, telomeres, supports infinite cancer cell growth. This system will also support so-called cancer stem cells, which contribute to initiation, metastasis, and recurrence of the disease. We are investigating the molecular mechanisms for telomere maintenance, cell immortality, and cancer stemness. Based on these basic researches, we are also developing druggable seeds. First, we are developing telomere-targeting drugs, such as G-quadruplex ligands, which preferentially attack glioma stem cells. Second, we are developing inhibitors for the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase called tankyrase. This enzyme promotes telomere elongation by telomerase and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in cancer. Third, employing functional genomics and comprehensive gene expression analysis, we are pursuing therapeutic targets of cancer stem cells.

Laboratories

The University of Tokyo
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

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