Chuong D. Hoang, M.D., FACS
Dr. Hoang is a surgeon-scientist sub-specialized in thoracic surgical oncology.
His research section (Molecular Therapeutics) is concerned with the comprehensive identification, understanding of mechanisms, innovating delivery methods, and preclinical development of promising candidate therapeutic microRNAs (miRNA or miR) against thoracic cancers. This translational research pipeline also serves to generate hypothesis-driven projects aimed at biomarker discovery for purposes of diagnosis, prognosis, and response evaluation. Extensive multi-disciplinary collaborations ranging from computational systems biology to materials science and chemistry have been established to achieve these broad goals. His lab currently uses malignant pleural mesothelioma, a topologically complex surface cancer involving the chest cavity, as a model to integrate and validate these research endeavors. Other thoracic cancers such as thymic epithelial tumors and non-small cell lung carcinomas are also of interest with ongoing research project development.
His clinical expertise includes all the major aspects of thoracic surgery including procedures for lung cancer, other primary lung tumors, mesothelioma, thymic malignancies, esophageal cancer, pulmonary metastases, Pancoast tumors, and tracheal cancers. He utilizes the latest techniques in endoscopic and minimally-invasive (VATS and robotic) thoracic surgery.
1) malignant mesothelioma, 2) thymic epithelial tumors, 3) non-small cell lung cancer, 4) thoracic neuroendocrine tumors, 5) esophageal cancer, 6) pulmonary metastatic cancers, 7) minimally invasive thoracic surgery (VATS & RATS), 8) thoracic endoscopy, 9) microRNA
My research interests are in developing novel biomarkers and therapeutic strategies in thoracic cancers (malignant mesothelioma, thymic epithelial tumors, non-small cell lung carcinoma, etc.). These clinical objectives are achieved by integrating a better understanding of tumor biology with testing of new experimental anti-cancer agents.
Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM)
Project I – Oncogenesis Modeling
The precise molecular steps leading to MPM remain obscure and, in part, underlie why this recalcitrant surface tumor is difficult to diagnose and treat. Our goal is to construct next-generation model(s) of MPM that can provide insights on tumor initiation, promotion and progression. We developed a novel method to generate new mesothelial cells, those which give rise to MPM, directly from patient tissue biopsy of pleural membranes. Utilizing 3D bioprinting, we incorporate these genetically defined mesothelial cells into building artificial human pleural membranes arranged in a multi-well, high-throughput pipeline. This ex-vivo equivalent of human pleura represents a novel and robust experimentation platform to conduct cell-based, real-time analyses into the origin and mechanism of MPM.
Project II – miRNA-based Therapy
A major clinical bottleneck in MPM therapy is lack of efficacious, specific drugs that can be effectively delivered to the pleura space where this cancer is sheathed over vital organs. Since traditional chemotherapeutics and numerous small-molecule targeted drugs have yet to appreciably impact outcomes in MPM management, we are focused on identifying and testing novel agents. Currently we are investigating microRNA, short non-coding RNA, that are a class of epigenetic regulators interacting with transcription factors, as a promising type of cancer drug. miRNA exert anti-cancer effects by coherent simultaneous targeting of gene pathways, many of which are pathogenic in MPM and contain “undruggable” transcription factors like p53 or KRAS. We (in collaboration with the Chemical Biology Lab, NCI-Frederick) have innovated a thin-film, biodegradable, nano-scale, peptide hydrogel composite material as a locoregional delivery system (patent pending) that can deliver miRNA payloads more selectively to cancer cells. Using both unbiased high-throughput functional screens of miRNA and knowledge-based bioinformatic analysis, we are developing candidate therapeutic miRNA, e.g. miR-215 which targets p53 to induce apoptosis when applied to MPM xenografts. In addition to locoregional miRNA therapy for MPM as a monoagent, we are exploring novel combinatorial regimens with multiple classes of new drugs. Ultimately, we seek to complete preclinical studies in order to conduct future human trials assessing the clinical utility of miRNA with anti-MPM effects.
Selected Recent Publications
- Molecular Therapy. 27(9): 1665-1680, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
Metadherin Is a Prognostic Apoptosis Modulator in Mesothelioma Induced via NF-κB-Mediated Signaling.Translational Oncology. 12(6): 859-870, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
- Chest. 144(5): 1632-43, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
- Translational Lung Cancer Research. Jun;6(3): 248-258, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
- Scientific Data. 5:180202: 1038, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
Dr. Hoang received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he stayed to complete clinical training in general surgery. During his surgical residency his research work was supported by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award and a Training Program Grant in the Division of Hematology-Oncology. Afterwards, Dr. Hoang completed his cardiothoracic residency at the University of Pennsylvania, with an emphasis on thoracic surgery. Since 2008, he then served on faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor. He was the Medical (co-)Director of the Stanford Cancer Center Tissue Bank. Dr. Hoang also established an independent thoracic oncology laboratory there investigating the metabolic derangements in lung cancer and microRNA interactions in mesothelioma.
|Nathanael D. Pruett, Ph.D.||Research Biologist|
|Anand Singh, Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)|
|Rupa Mahat||Data Manager (Contr.)|
|Cheryl Warga C.R.N.P.||Nurse Practitioner|
|Tricia Kunst R.N.||Research Nurse|
|Shivani Dixit Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)|
|Jenny Hauprich||Patient Care Coordinator (Contr.)|
|Jan Pappas||Program Specialist|