Photo of Kenneth Kenji Tanabe, MD

Kenneth Kenji Tanabe, MD

  • Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology
  • Deputy Clinical Director, MGH Cancer Center
  • Director, MGH Liver Surgery Program


Accepting New Patients



Surgical Oncology


Centers & Specialties

Cancer Center

Digestive Healthcare Center

Clinical Interests
  • Liver surgery
  • Colon cancer
  • Melanoma surgery
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping
  • Liver cancer
Medical Education
  • MD, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
  • Residency, Cornell University Medical Center
  • Fellowship, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute
Board Certifications
  • Surgery
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Waltham: Mass General West
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Kenneth Tanabe is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the Deputy Clinical Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Director of the MGH Liver Surgery Program. Dr. Tanabe serves on the melanoma committee of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and his clinical practices focuses on surgical management of patients with liver tumors and patients with melanoma.

Dr. Tanabe was named one of Boston Magazine's Top Docs for 2013:

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Tanabe directs a research laboratory focused on 1) hepatocellular carcinoma prevention; and 2) experimental gene therapy for liver tumors. His laboratory has been funded by the National Institutes of Health continuously since 1993.

Research in the area of hepatocellular carcinoma focuses on signal transduction pathways involved during malignant transformation of hepatocytes, and molecular mechanisms of cirrhosis progression. Agents that prevent progression of cirrhosis or prevent development of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic livers are examined in preclinical models before development of clinical trials. The effects on liver are monitored via a gene signature, in collaboration with Yujin Hoshida and Todd Golub at the Broad Institute.

Research in experimental gene therapy for liver tumors focuses on development of replication-conditional viruses that destroy tumors by virtue of replication in the tumor cells, a process that simultaneously produces daughter progeny virion that can infect adjacent tumor cells. Significant progress has been made in alteration of the viral genome to restrict viral replication in normal cells. One virus is now in clinical trial for patients with primary or secondary liver tumors.


View my most recent publications at PubMed

Over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 50 review articles and book chapters on melanoma and liver surgery.

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News & Events


Surgical Oncology Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-724-3868617-724-4000
Fax: 617-724-3895
Mass General West
52 Second Avenue
Waltham MA, 02451
Phone: 781-487-6100
Fax: 781-487-6201

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