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BCRF Grantee Since

2006

Donor Recognition

The RGS Labs International Award

Area(s) of Focus

Francisco J. Esteva, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine
Director, Breast Medical Oncology Program
Associate Director of Clinical Investigation
NYU Cancer Institute
NYU School of Medicine
New York, NY

Current Research

One of the surprising findings of the Human Genome Project was that only 2% of genes code for proteins, while it is estimated that up to 70% of human genes are transcribed into RNA. In his BCRF-funded project, Dr. Esteva will investigate the expression profile patterns of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in tissue and plasma from breast cancer patients. His objective is to develop a new classification of breast cancer using this intriguing new class of transcripts and determine the prognostic and predictive role of lncRNA-based diagnostics. Therapeutic applications are a long way down the road, but one can envision lncRNA-based therapeutics using RNA interference technology or small molecules that interact with the target lncRNA. At present there are no commercially available lncRNA-based diagnostic assays for any type of cancer.

Mid-Year Summary

Only 1-2% of genes in the human genome encode proteins, while it is estimated that up to 70% of human genes are transcribed into RNA. Dr. Esteva’s team is investigating the expression patterns of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in tissue from breast cancer patients. Their objective is to develop a new classification of breast cancer using this intriguing new class of transcripts. Future studies will determine the clinical utility of lncRNA-based diagnostics.

Bio

Dr. Esteva received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Zaragoza School of Medicine in Spain. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center (Camden, NJ). He continued on to Georgetown University Medical Center (Washington, DC) for a clinical fellowship in medical oncology at the Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Center. Dr. Esteva joined the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1997. He received the K23 Career Development Award from the National Cancer Institute and played a major role in the development of a successful translational research program in breast cancer under Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi's leadership. In 2013 Dr. Esteva moved to New York University Cancer Institute. Dr. Esteva is board certified in medical oncology, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and an elected member of the American Society of for Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Esteva has served on the Scientific Program Committee and the Education Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and is a member of the (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Core Breast Cancer Committee. He is also a co-author in more than 150 publications including peer-reviewed research articles, invited reviews and book chapters.