Events Calendar

Dan Duda (Steele Lab): Rationally integrating radiotherapy for liver cancers by leveraging multidisciplinary translational studies
Tuesday 13 September 2022, 12:00pm - 01:00pm

Abstract: Liver cancer is a common and deadly cancer and is currently a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Moreover, liver cancer is one of the few cancers whose incidence has been increasing steadily (by approximately 3% per year) since 2000. The mainstays of curative treatment for HCC are either surgery (resection or liver transplantation) or thermo-ablation. However, most patients are not eligible for these treatments, and most patients will experience disease recurrence. Radiation therapy has become the fastest growing treatment modality for hepatic confined liver cancer that cannot be surgically removed, fueled by the development of advanced techniques that enable the delivery of potentially curative doses of radiation. At the same time, immunotherapy has shown unprecedented efficacy in liver cancers. I will discuss unpublished results on studies of radiotherapy in HCC with cirrhosis, which, if successful, would allow personalization of the treatment while avoiding potentially lethal radiation-induced liver damage. Moreover, our mechanistic studies in preclinical models could provide a new strategy to prevent radiation-induced liver damage by determining whether the HGF/MET pathway plays a causal role in this adverse effect. In addition, I will discuss unpublished results on studies of radio-immunotherapy in ICCs of different genetic subtypes. These strategies can be immediately translated into clinical trials at our institution and other US centers.


About the speaker: Dr. Duda obtained a DMD from the University of Medicine Iasi, Romania, in 1993 and a PhD in Medical Sciences (GI Surgery) from Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan in 2001. After graduation, he pursued postdoctoral research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston (2001-2004). He became Junior Faculty at Harvard (Instructor) in 2004 and then rose through the ranks to Full Investigator at MGH Research Institute in 2016. He has been an Associate Professor of Tumor Biology (Radiation Oncology) at Harvard Medical School since 2012. In 2016, he was appointed as the Director of Translational Research in GI Radiation Oncology at MGH. In 2021, he received the Doctor Honoris Causa honorary degree from his alma mater, the University of Medicine Iasi, Romania.

The research of Dr. Duda's laboratory focuses on studies of tumor interaction with its microenvironment, aiming to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms of tumor progression and treatment resistance in GI cancers. The goal is to identify and validate targets for combination therapy in preclinical studies and correlative clinical studies.

Dr. Duda has been a chartered or ad-hoc Member and Chair or co-Chair of US NCI, American Cancer Society (ACS), US Department of Defense (DOD), and Belgium FWO Med4 panels since 2012. He is a Founding Editor of Surgery, Gastroenterology and Oncology, a Senior Associate Editor of the Red Journal, and an Editorial Board member for several other journals, including Clinical & Translational Radiation Oncology, Journal of Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Digestive Surgery, and Cancers. Since 2015, he has been serving as the Secretary-General of the IASGO. In addition, Dr. Duda is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Fibrosis Special Interest Group; a member of the NCI Hepatobiliary Task Force for Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers; and a member of the SWOG Cancer Research Network, GI and Translational Medicine GI Committees. In 2023, Dr. Duda will chair the Forbeck Forum on “The Biology and Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma”.

Dr. Duda has authored more than 260 publications (current Thomson h-index=73). He is among the top 2% of scientists globally based on a composite score [c-score] of citations, co-authorships, and collaborations. He has been invited to present his results at over 200 local, national, and international meetings, including Grand Rounds, Plenary Talks, and Keynote Lectures in more than 40 countries. Dr. Duda received several awards for his work, including AACR, CRI, IASGO, MGH, and the Granara-Skerry Trust. He has been an Honorary Member of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Romania since 2012. In 2020, Dr. Duda was inducted into The College of Fellows of the AIMBE, which comprises the top 2% of medical and biological engineers. In 2022, he was elected as a 2021 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); AAAS Fellows are a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers, and innovators recognized for their achievements across disciplines.

Location : Goitein conference room