Cancer Expert Comes to Ohio State to Focus on 'Precision Cancer Medicine'  

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Posted: 4/10/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Physician scientist Dr. Sameek Roychowdhury, MD, PhD, who specializes in translational genomics --  the development of molecular- and genetic-based treatments for individual cancers, has joined the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James).
“Cancer is not a single disease with a single cause,” said Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “Rather, cancer is hundreds of diseases, all having different causes, all acting, reacting and adapting differently to the bodies they’re in and the treatments aimed at disrupting cancer’s growth and movement throughout the body. Because there is no routine cancer, successful cures and outcomes will only come from treatments that target specific cells within each person’s cancer.”
Caligiuri explained that to do that, a cancer center must have a team of experts like Roychowdhury who spend all day, every day, looking at the molecular and genetic make-up of each patient’s cancer.
“Once we understand the specific make-up of a patient’s cancer, we can develop and administer treatments that successfully fight those cancer cells, have less side effects and leave healthy tissue unharmed,” said Caligiuri. “The days of one-size-fits-all chemotherapies, the days of thinking that cancer can be treated as a ‘routine’ disease, are gone. We’re excited to have Sameek and his team at Ohio State, working to deliver precision cancer medicine to our patients.”
Roychowdhury will soon be launching a clinical study that evaluates individual patients with advanced cancer who are considering clinical trials. The study will help identify “driving” genetic mutations – or abnormalities – within each patient’s tumor that match novel molecularly targeted therapies and cancer-fighting drugs in development at Ohio State.
“Genomics has the potential to allow us to select the right drug for the right patient at the right time, and potentially avoid unnecessary drugs,” says Roychowdhury. “At The Ohio State University, we are using genomics and innovative clinical trials to implement this ‘precision cancer medicine’ strategy. This will allow us to more effectively treat patients with cancer.”
Roychowdhury, who is an assistant professor in the department of internal medicine, division of medical oncology and department of pharmacology, comes to Ohio State from the University of Michigan where he completed his internal medicine, medical oncology, and post-doctoral training.
He completed his undergraduate, graduate and medical school training at Ohio State, where he completed his PhD dissertation research with his mentor, Caligiuri, studying cancer immunology and experimental therapeutics. Funds raised by Pelotonia helped to recruit him to Ohio State.
 Roychowdhury’s clinical practice in medical oncology includes patients with advanced cancer including prostate, colorectal, soft tissue sarcoma, and rare cancer subtypes.
His research lab utilizes next-generation sequencing strategies including exome, RNAseq, and targeted capture sequencing for the development of genomics-driven clinical trials and characterization of resistance. The research focuses on studying the development of primary and secondary resistance for targeted therapies for certain mutation pathways through preclinical models and sequential clinical samples from clinical trials.
“My goal is to provide patients with the best possible care based on their individual genetics and the biological make-up of their particular cancer,” says Roychowdhury, who received a Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation in 2011. While at Michigan, he also received the Landon Foundation-American Association for Cancer Research’s Innovator Award for Personalized Cancer Medicine   in 2012.
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 228-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. 
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Click here for a video message from Dr. Sameek Roychowdhury.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Dr. Sameek Roychowdhury.
Contact: Eileen Scahill, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, or

Tags: Cancer

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 460 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: