AUG 22, 2013 5:00 PM PDT

Clinical Utility Potential of Epigenetic Aberrations in Human Solid Tumors

  • Dave S Hoon, PhD

    Chief of Scientific Intelligence, Director of Molecular Oncology, John Wayne Cancer Institute

As Chief of Scientific Intelligence at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, Dr. Hoon interacts with external academic, industry, and government agencies to develop innovative translational research opportunities. He has coauthored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and reviews, primarily related to translational molecular oncology of human solid tumors. He has over 25 patents on his studies. As founding Director of the Department of Molecular Oncology, Dr. Hoon continues to pioneer investigations of RNA/genomic/epigenomic biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic and predictive assessment of residual tumor cells. He also spearheads investigations of circulating DNA/miRNA biomarkers for staging cancer in patients enrolled in phase II/III clinical trials. The Department's focus on biomarker expression in both tissue and body-fluid specimens gives it a uniquely broad scope. Dr. Hoon's team has developed diagnostic tissue biomarkers for molecular staging of sentinel lymph nodes and classification of human solid tumors such as melanoma, breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancer. Dr. Hoon also has pioneered development of blood-based nucleic-acid and tumor-cell biomarkers as prognostic tools. In the last decade he and his team have designed and conducted biomarker companion studies as part of multicenter international clinical trials. On the therapeutic front, Dr. Hoon is examining functional genomic and epigenomic changes as potential targets for development of novel approaches to treat or prevent malignancy. Dr. Hoon and the Department are funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, the California Breast Cancer Research Program, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Adelson Melanoma Research Foundation, the United States Department of Defense, and the pharma-biotech industry. Dr. Hoon has served on several review study sections as a permanent member for the National Cancer Institute, and was a founding member of NCI's Cancer Biomarker Study Section. The Department of Molecular Oncology consists of over 20 MD/PhD scientists and research technicians focused on translation molecular oncology. Some of the major ongoing collaborations include: Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands; Genome Institute Singapore, Biopolis; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Keio University; MD Anderson, and Melanoma Institute Australia. Dr. Hoon has trained more than 60 postdoctoral oncology fellows, who now hold faculty appointments in numerous academic institutions.    

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