Labs and Faculty
Inter-Institutional Cooperative Laboratories
Laboratory of Cancer Biology
  • TSUCHIHARA KatsuyaProf.

    Tumor diagnostics, Tumor biology

    Cancer genomics, Clinical sequence, Database

  • ISHII GenichiroProf.

    Tumor biology, Cell biology, Pathology

    Tumor microenvironment, Cancer-associated fibroblasts. Diversity of drug sensitivity

  • YASUNAGA MasahiroProf.

    Drug delivery, Therapeutic antibody, Immunoregulation, Advanced mass

    Antibody, DDS, Molecular imaging, Cell biology, Mass spectrometry, Smell and biomolecules.

  • KOBAYASHI SusumuProf.


    Lung cancer, Leukemia, Targeted therapy, Resistance

  • OHASHI AkihiroAssoc. Prof.

    Tumor biology, Drug Discovery, Pharmacology

    Chromosomal instability, DNA replication stress, Molecular target therapy, Multi-omics analysis

Pursuing precision cancer treatment and care with cutting-edge technology and high-quality samples and data

In Japan, one out of every two people suffers from cancer. Nearly one million people are newly diagnosed with cancer every year, and this number is expected to continue to increase. In addition to the progress of new technologies such as comprehensive genome analysis, the development of molecular targeted drugs and immunotherapy based on the understanding of the biological characteristics of cancer has steadily improved the therapeutic outcome of cancer, but new issues such as cancers for which no effective therapeutic target can be found and resistance to therapeutic drugs have become apparent. To create the optimal treatment for each individual patient, a deep biological understanding of not only the cancer cells but also the surrounding microenvironment is required. To make this possible, it is essential to analyze patient samples undergoing treatment, add insights based on the clinical information, and share the results with internal and external researchers both in the academia and industry. Faculty members in the Laboratory of Cancer Biology belong to the Exploratory Oncology Research and Clinical Trial Center (EPOC) of the National Cancer Center and are engaged in translational research in collaboration with the National Cancer Center Hospital East, which is conducting top-class clinical development in Japan. Let's create the next generation of Precision Oncology together.
  • National Cancer Center Kashiwa Campus

Research projects

(1) Elucidation of the dynamics of the human cancer microenvironment (Ishii/Ochiai Lab)

Cancer is a complex tissue composed of cancer cells and their surrounding non-cancerous cells. Therefore, to reproduce the human tumor microenvironment, it is necessary to establish an assay system that includes not only cancer cells but also non-cancer cells. In this field, we are focusing on fibroblasts (CAFs), which are representative of non-cancer cells. Recent studies have shown that CAFs are a functionally and morphologically heterogeneous population of cells. We have isolated and cultured CAFs from many cancer specimens and constructed a microenvironment formed by these CAFs and cancer cells using fluorescent proteins, time lapse imaging, and organoid production techniques to elucidate the mechanism of cancer development and drug sensitivity.

(2) Research and development of therapeutic drugs using drug delivery systems (Yasunaga Lab)

Drug delivery system (DDS) is a method of tumor-selective delivery of anticancer drugs to enhance their efficacy and minimize their side effects. We are conducting unique drug discovery research of next-generation antibody drugs such as ADC (antibody-drug conjugate), RIT (radioimmunotherapy), and BsAb (bispecific antibody) with using series of technologies such as molecular imaging to visualize their delivery, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and molecular and cell biology methods to enhance host immune response to attack cancer cells. In addition, we are developing new diagnostic and therapeutic methods which target cancer smell and biomolecules.

(3) Overcoming resistance to cancer therapy (Ohashi/Kobayashi Lab)

Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Outcomes for those treated with current standard treatments have not dramatically changed during the last 3 decades. Recent development of “targeted therapies” has changed the way of treatment in a subset of patients. However, they are not effective for all patients and the tumor eventually comes back even in patients who show good initial response. My laboratory has focused on kinase mutations and therapeutic strategies in lung cancer. We are looking for an enthusiastic, passionate, cooperative, and happy individual to fight with this deadly cancer together.

(4) Development of therapeutics and diagnostics by integrated analysis of clinical omics data (Tsuchihara Lab)

High quality clinical information is necessary for the development of cancer therapies. In addition, data from multi-omics analysis of genome, transcriptome, and microbiome using patient samples and animal and cell models is also essential. Informatics is essential for integrating these data and deriving new knowledge. We are engaged in research and development of various data processing pipelines, database construction, optimization techniques for efficient extraction of relevant information, and visualization.
  • 1. In vitro model that mimic dynamics of tumor microenvironment

  • 2. Next-generation drug discovery using DDS

  • 4. Extracting information from large-scale clinico-om