The Thoracic Oncology program (Drs. Daniel G. Tenen, Daniel B. Costa, Susumu Kobayashi) is involved in clinical, basic and translational research activities. Drs. Tenen, Kobayashi and Costa have made seminal observations on the basis of resistance to gefitinib and erlotinib (oral EGFR inhibitors) in lung cancer patients with somatic epidermal growth factor receptor ( EGFR) mutations.
The program is involved in ongoing clinical trials within the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), including those related to novel EGFR inhibitors and other targeted agents. Dr. Costa and is the principal investigator for active clinical trials at BIDMC.
The Thoracic Oncology Program is a key member of the DF/HCC Lung SPORE's efforts to identify transcription factors involved in the pathogenesis of lung cancer. Drs. Costa and Tenen are co-leaders of the Lung SPORE program at D/FHCC.
Main interests in basic research include: transcription factors involved in lung development and cancer, oncogenes involved non-small cell lung cancer, mechanisms of action of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, apoptosis, and EGFR mutated adenocarcinomas of the lung.
Drs. Tenen and Costa are studying the studying the role of transcription factors, including C/EBP alpha and Foxa2, in normal lung differentiation, as well as in lung cancer. Dr. Costa is also involved in clinical trials and translational research towards how oncogene mutations (specifically in EGFR) and translocations affect the response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer.
Dr. Kobayashi is interested in studying the mechanisms of resistance caused by EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors; the bcl-2 family proteins, which are responsible for tyrosine kinase inhibitor-induced apoptosis; and pharmacogenomic studies of compounds capable of inducing cell differentiation of lung cancer cells. These studies will lead to new insights into mutant EGFR-driven tumorigenesis, as well as the identification of novel target pathways for therapeutic intervention in lung cancer.