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

Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Full Member, Abramson Cancer Center
Department: Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery

Contact information

Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
South Pavilion, 3rd Floor
3400 Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: NEW PATIENTS: 215-615-3534
Graduate Group Affiliations
Sc.B (Biology)
Brown University, 1994.
M.D. (Medicine)
Washington University School of Medicine, 2001.
Ph.D. (Immunology)
Washington University School of Medicine, 2001.
Post-Graduate Training
Intern, Surgery, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 2001-2002.
Resident, Otolaryngology, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 2002-2005.
Chief Resident, Otolaryngology, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 2005-2006.
Fellow, Head and Neck Surgery and Microvascular Reconstruction, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 2006-2007.
American Board of Otolaryngology, 2007.
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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

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 Epub ahead of print, June 1 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 KH, Basu D: Regulation of oncogenic PI3-kinase signaling by JARID1B. Oncotarget 8(5): 7218-7219, January 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.

Facompre ND, Sahu V, Montone KT, Harmeyer KM, Nakagawa H, Rustgi AD, Weinstein GS, Gimotty PA, Basu D : Barriers to Generating PDX Models of HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer. Laryngoscope 127(12): 2777-2783, Dec 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.

Facompre N, Nakagawa H, Herlyn M, Basu D: Stem-like cells and therapy resistance in squamous cell carcinomas. Adv Pharmacol 65: 235-65, October 2012.

Basu D, Montone KT, Wang LP, Gimotty PA, Hammond R, Diehl JA, Rustgi AK, Lee JT, Rasanen K, Weinstein GS, Herlyn M: Detecting and targeting mesenchymal-like subpopulations within squamous cell carcinomas. Cell Cycle 10(12): 2008-16, Jun 2011.

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: 09/17/2021
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