Devraj Basu, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.

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Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
RESEARCH LAB WEBSITE: http://www.med.upenn.edu/basulab

Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
South Pavilion, 3rd Floor
3400 Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: NEW PATIENTS: 215-615-3534
Sc.B (Biology)
Brown University, 1994.
Ph.D. (Immunology)
Washington University School of Medicine, 2001.
M.D. (Medicine)
Washington University School of Medicine, 2001.
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Description of Research Expertise

As a surgeon-scientist, my overall goal is to improve our ability cure the most aggressive head and neck cancers while also abating treatment toxicity for ones readily curable by existing therapies. My lab's work has pursued how multiple discrete subpopulations of malignant cells within these tumors cooperatively resist therapy via both tumor cell autonomous mechanisms and crosstalk with the stromal microenvironment. In the process, we have developed the ability to analyze heterogeneity and phenotypic plasticity within cancer cell lines, patient-derived xenografts, and primary human cancer samples based on molecular and functional criteria. My group seeks precise molecular definition of the epigenetic plasticity that promotes homeostasis of tumor cells that retain malignant potential in the face of standard therapy. Our studies integrate known drug resistance mechanisms into a conceptual framework where oncogenic signal dependence is regulated by flux between distinct cell states. Our work demonstrates that activation of oncogenic signaling pathways is remarkably heterogeneous and plastic within any single tumor. As a result, rapid compensation to targeting these pathways occurs not only at the level of signaling networks in individual cells but also through dynamics among diverse cell states cooperatively sustaining cancer progression. We are presently exploiting such intra-tumor diversity as a basis to improve the marginal efficacy of current targeted agents in head and neck cancer therapy with new drug combinations.

Description of Clinical Expertise

I see patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and have over a decade of experience in managing the most complex head and neck cancer cases as an oncologic and reconstructive surgeon. As part of a multidisciplinary team, I am dedicated to optimizing survival for aggressive head and neck cancer cases while managing readily curable ones with the goal of minimizing negative effects of treatment. My NIH-funded research enterprise brings a cutting edge molecular perspective to surgical cancer care while optimizing use of tumors that I remove from patients to advance the science of cancer therapy. I use open, endoscopic, robotic, and laser procedures to treat both benign and malignant disorders of the mouth, throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, salivary glands, parapharyngeal space, and skin. I am also highly experienced in surgical management of thyroid and parathyroid diseases.

Description of Other Expertise

Cancer clinical trials
Squamous cell carcinomas
HPV-related cancer
Oral cancer
Throat cancer
Larynx (voice box) cancer
Transoral laser surgery
Transoral robotic surgery
Salivary cancers
Nasal cancers
Sinus cancers
Skin cancers
Thyroid cancers
Parathyroid cancers
Basal cell carcinomas
Sentinel lymph node mapping
Head and neck sarcomas
Benign salivary tumors
Benign tumors of the head and neck
Parapharyngeal space tumors
Carotid body tumors
Nerve sheath tumors
Congenital cysts of the head and neck
Surgery for vocal cord paralysis
Endoscopic sinus surgery
Head and neck trauma surgery

Selected Publications

Sannigrahi MK, Rajagopalan P, Lai L, Liu X, Sahu V, Nakagawa H, Jalaly JB, Brody RM, Morgan IM, Windle BE, Wang X, Gimotty PA, Kelly DP, White EA, Basu D: HPV E6 regulates therapy responses in oropharyngeal cancer by repressing the PGC-1alpha/ERRalpha axis. JCI Insight 7(18), September 2022.

Sannigrahi M, Cao AC, Rajagopalan R, Sun L, Brody RM, Raghav L, Gimotty PA, Basu D: A novel pipeline for prioritizing cancer type-specific therapeutic vulnerabilities using DepMap identifies PAK2 as a target in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Molecular Oncology 18(2): 336-339, February 2024.

Brody RM, Shimunov D, Cohen RB, Lukens JN, Hartner L, Aggarwal C, Duvvuri U, Montone KT, Jalaly J, LiVolsi VA, Carey RM, Shanti RM, Rajasekaran K, Chalian AA, Rassekh H, Cannady SB, Newman JG, Basu D: A benchmark for oncologic outcomes and model for lethal recurrence risk after transoral robotic resection of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers. Oral Oncology 127, April 2022.

Hatterschide J, Castagnino P, Kim HW, Sperry SM, Montone KT, Basu D, White EA: YAP1 activation by human papillomavirus E7 promotes basal cell identity in squamous epithelia. eLife 11: e75466, February 2022.

Facompre ND, Rajagopalan P, Sahu V, Pearson AT, Montone KT, James CD, Gleber-Netto FO, Weinstein GS, Jalaly J, Lin A, Rustgi AK, Nakagawa H, Califano JA, Pickering CR, White EA, Windle BE, Morgan IM, Cohen RB, Gimotty PA, Basu D. : Identifying predictors of HPV-related head and neck squamous cell carcinoma progression and survival through patient-derived models. Int J Cancer 147(11), December 2020.

Harmeyer KM, Facompre ND, Herlyn M, Basu D: JARID1 Histone Demethylases: Emerging Targets in Cancer. Trends Cancer 3(10): 713-725, Oct 2017.

Facompre ND, Harmeyer KM, Sole X, Kabraji S, Belden Z, Sahu V, Whelan K, Tanaka K, Weinstein GS, Montone KT, Roesch A, Gimotty PA, Herlyn M, Rustgi AK, Nakagawa H, Ramaswamy S, Basu D: JARID1B Enables Transit between Distinct States of the Stem-like Cell Population in Oral Cancers. Cancer Res 76(18): 5538-49, Sep 2016.

Facompre ND, Harmeyer KM, Sahu V, Gimotty PA, Rustgi AK, Nakagawa H, Basu D: Targeting JARID1B's Demethylase Activity Blocks a Subset of Its Functions in Oral Cancer Oncotarget 9(10): 8985-8998, December 2017.

Basu D, Bewley AF, Sperry SM, Montone KT, Gimotty PA, Rasanen K, Facompre ND, Weinstein GS, Nakagawa H, Diehl JA, Rustgi AK, Herlyn M : EGFR Inhibition Promotes an Aggressive Invasion Pattern Mediated by Mesenchymal-like Tumor Cells within Squamous Cell Carcinomas. Mol Cancer Ther 12(10): 2176-86, Oct 2013.

Basu D, Ngyen TK, Montone KT, Zhang BS, Wang L, Diehl JA, Rustgi AK, Lee JT, Weinstein GS, Herlyn M: Evidence for mesenchymal-like subpopulations within squamous cell carcinomas possessing chemoresistance and phenotypic plasticity. Oncogene 29(29): 4170-82, Jul 2010.

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Last updated: 05/29/2024
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