Physician Photo

Kenneth Kenji Tanabe, MD

Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology

Deputy Clinical Director, MGH Cancer Center

Director, MGH Liver Surgery Program

  • Phone: 617-724-3868
Surgical Oncology
Department of Surgery


  • Cancer Center
  • Liver Cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers
  • Digestive Healthcare Center
  • Liver Center
Clinical Interests
Liver surgery
Colon cancer
Melanoma surgery
Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping
Liver cancer
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Waltham: Mass General West
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, American Board of Surgery
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients


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:


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.

Boston German consul general hosts Massachusetts General Hospital Music in Medicine Program

Claudius Conrad, MD, PhD, surgeon and director of the Music in Medicine Program at the MGH and the Benson Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, was the honored guest of Friedrich Löhr, the consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany in Boston, and presented a free “Music in Medicine” concert and lecture on Feb. 23.

Surgical Oncology Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696

Phone: 617-724-3868
Phone 2: 617-724-4000
Fax: 617-724-3895

Mass General West
52 Second Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451

Phone: 781-487-6100
Fax: 781-487-6201