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2016 Featured Talks » Lung cancer KRAS addiction is reversed by disrupting an integrin/lectin membrane complex



Lung cancer KRAS addiction is reversed by disrupting an integrin/lectin membrane complex


David Cheresh, PhD
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center





David Cheresh, PhD
Distinguished Professor
Vice Chair of Pathology
Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
Moores Cancer Center
UC San Diego


David Cheresh has made fundamental discoveries on the role that gangliosides, integrins, growth factor receptors and intracellular kinases play in tumor growth, and vascular remodeling. His early work focused on the functional role of the GD2 ganglioside in neuroectodermal tumors. At that time Cheresh jointly discovered the anti-GD2 (now termed Unituxin), which was FDA approved in 2015 for patients with advanced neuroblastoma. He discovered that integrin αvβ3 is specifically expressed on angiogenic endothelial cells where it contributes to the growth of tumor-associated blood vessels and plays a role in the progression of various cancers. Cheresh’s research in this area has been widely cited with eight of his peer-reviewed publications being cited >1000 times. Cheresh has developed antibodies, kinase inhibitors and nanoparticles now in clinical development in patients with cancer and inflammatory disease. Most recently, Cheresh has identified how tumor stem cells develop in response therapeutic intervention or cellular stress. Cheresh and colleagues have identified specific pathways that contribute to cancer stemness and have begun to develop therapeutics to target these pathways in order to reverse drug resistance and cancer progression.

Dr. Cheresh received his doctorate in immunology from the University Of Miami School Of Medicine. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 15th Hans Linder Memorial Lecture from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel; the XXIII Annual Myron Karon Memorial Lectureship from the University of Southern California; the Robert Flynn Professorship Award from Tufts University School of Medicine; the Judah Folkman lectureship; and the Paget-Ewing award from the Metastasis Research Society/American Association for Cancer Research. He has a received both an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award and a National Cancer Institute Merit Award.