About Kenneth Tanabe, MD

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

Clinical Interests:



Surgical Oncology Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Phone: 617-724-3868
Phone: 617-724-4000
Fax: 617-724-3895

Mass General Waltham
52 Second Avenue
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 781-487-6100
Fax: 781-487-6201

Medical Education

  • MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine
  • MD, University of CA San Diego Med Ctr
  • Residency, Cornell University Medical Center
  • Residency, The New York Hospital
  • Fellowship, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute
  • Fellowship, MD Anderson Center

American Board Certifications

  • Surgery, American Board of Surgery

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


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.