Melissa Hirose Wong, Ph.D.

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My laboratory is actively investigating the physiologic impact of cell fusion hybrids between circulating bone marrow-derived and intestinal tumor epithelial cells in advancing tumorigenesis. We have direct evidence that intestinal epithelial cell fusion hybrids generated after intestinal injury harbor a unique transcriptome that reflects expression potential from both intestinal cells and bone marrow-derived cells. It is our hypothesis that cell fusion may provide acquisition of blood-derived properties to tumor epithelium, permitting them to escape the primary tumor microenvironment and re-establish tumorigenesis at a distant site.

A second focus in my laboratory is to determine if cancer stem cell profiling can be used to inform disease behavior. We are currently investigating the expression pattern of these tumor-initiating cells in head and neck carcinoma and colon cancer before and after treatment and correlating our findings with disease aggressiveness. It is our hypothesis that a prevalent cancer stem cell phenotype may correlate with a more aggressive disease course. We hope that these studies will ultimately inform patient treatment and care.

Selected Publications

"B cells regulate macrophage phenotype and response to chemotherapy in squamous carcinomas," Cancer Cell (Vol: 25, Issue: 6, Page 809-821) - 2014

"Network signatures of nuclear and cytoplasmic density alterations in a model of pre and postmetastatic colorectal cancer," Journal of Biomedical Optics (Vol: 19, Issue: 1, ) - 2014

"Ponatinib overcomes FGF2-mediated resistance in CML patients without kinase domain mutations," Blood (Vol: 123, Issue: 10, Page 1516-1524) - 2014

"A multicenter study to standardize reporting and analyses of fluorescence-activated cell-sorted murine intestinal epithelial cells," American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (Vol: 305, Issue: 8, Page G542-G551) - 2013

"Effects of epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor inhibition on proliferation and intracellular signaling in cutaneous SCCHN: Potential for dual inhibition as a therapeutic modality," Head and Neck (Vol: 35, Issue: 1, Page 86-93) - 2013



  Email Melissa Wong

503 494-8749