James Cusack, MD, FACS, a surgical oncologist and research scientist at MGH and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, specializes in locally advanced, recurrent, and metastatic cancer and is committed to global health equity.
BiographyJames Cusack, MD, FACS, is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Emory University Medical School who trained in surgery at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He was also a Research Fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Surgical Oncology Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2000 he joined the staff at Massachusetts General Hospital, the faculty of Harvard Medical School, and the consulting staff at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At Mass General, he is Director of the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy (HIPEC) Program and Surgical Oncology Laboratories. He served on the Executive Council of the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) and was Chair of the SSO Scientific Program Committee. He also served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Symposium Program Committee.
Among Dr. Cusack's awards for his patient care are: Boston Super Doctors (2011, 2013); Boston Top Doctors (2010-2014); The One Hundred Honoree MGH (2013); America's Top Surgeons (2012); America's Top Doctors for Cancer (2011-2012, 2014); and Patients' Choice Award (2008-2009, 2011-2012).
The Cusack Laboratory has made landmark contributions to the understanding of molecular mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance within cancer cells. Since 1995 Dr. Cusack's research has been funded by NIH, American Cancer Society, biotech, and his patients. Ongoing research topics are biomarkers of resistance and new targets for therapeutic intervention in colorectal and appendiceal cancer, melanoma, and Merkel Cell carcinoma. His bibliography lists over 70 publications, and he serves on numerous editorial boards.
Dr. Cusack is the Director of the MGH Global Surgery Initiative and is committed to improving surgical techniques and access to multidisciplinary cancer care in resource-limited settings, including Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana, Liberia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines.
ResearchThe Cusack Laboratory has made landmark contributions to the field of molecular therapeutics, advancing the understanding of chemotherapy resistance within cancer cells. Dr. Cusack is Director of the Surgical Oncology Laboratories at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His two most cited papers in Nature Medicine 1999 and Cancer Research 2001 describe the inhibition of the transcription factor NF-kappaB to overcome inducible chemotherapy resistance. Dr. Cusack is co-inventor of the patent that describes this therapeutic strategy, now licensed to two pharmaceutical companies for drug development. He recently defined the role of HB-EGF, a downstream target of NF-kappaB in cancer resistance. Based on this work, he developed a new cancer treatment with scientists in Japan. Ongoing areas of investigation include the development of targeted therapeutic approaches to overcome resistance mechanisms in melanoma, rectal cancer, and Merkel Cell carcinoma. His bibliography lists over 70 publications, and he continues to serve on numerous editorial boards. Dr. Cusack's laboratory has been funded since 1995 by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, biotech collaborators, and his patients.
If you would like to make a contribution to the Cusack Laboratory, please call 617-726-3618.
Wang C-Y, Cusack JC, Liu R, Baldwin AS. Control of inducible chemoresistance: enhanced anti-tumor therapy through increased apoptosis by inhibition of NF-kappaB. Nat Med 1999;5(4):412-7.
MGH Hotline 12/05/08: A multidisciplinary team from the MGH Cancer Center recently traveled to Kazakhstan’s capitol Astana to work with the city’s Department of Health to improve the oncology services at a local hospital.
Massachusetts General Hospital is partnering with the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and Coaches vs. Cancer to promote screening and treatment for colorectal cancer.
The MGH Cancer Center recently sent a team to the city of Mbarara in southwestern Uganda to explore a collaboration with the local university and hospital to build a new national referral cancer center.
The Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital is working with the Mass General Center for Global Health to help strengthen health care infrastructure in developing countries and provide medical and surgical care to those in need.
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