Novel Integrative Science of Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE) of Cancer

Cancers represent complex heterogeneous processes that are influenced by environmental and endogenous factors. In 2010, Shuji Ogino established the novel interdisciplinary science, “Molecular Pathological Epidemiology” (MPE), to dissect complex interrelationships among environmental, dietary, and lifestyle factors, genetic and epigenetic alterations, and tumor evolution. Analogous to systems biology, MPE takes a holistic approach to incorporate diverse intersecting pathways and themes — such as epigenetics, genomics, energetics, inflammation, immunity, microbiome, microbiota, etc. — into an integrated analysis of etiologies, evolution, and progression of cancers and all other human diseases. MPE of cancer is based on the “Unique Tumor Principle”, and MPE design can be used as the next step of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), termed the “GWAS-MPE Approach”. Other new concepts related to MPE include the “Colorectal Continuum Paradigm”, which underscores the importance of the interplay of gut microbiota, host factors, and carcinogenesis.

We are using a comprehensive database of two large U.S. nationwide prospective cohort studies — the Nurses’ Health Study (N=121,000 followed since 1976) and the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study (N=51,500 followed since 1986). We are dissecting genetic and epigenetic changes in cancer tissue specimens, using various QIAGEN technologies, including PyroMark Pyrosequencing. Some of our discoveries by the MPE approach include:

  • Influence of the tumor microenvironment on tumor phenotype
  • Relations between aspirin use and PTGS2 (COX-2) expression in colorectal cancer
  • Relations between obesity (host energetics) and FASN expression in colorectal cancer
  • Relations between host energetics and CTNNB1 activation in colorectal cancer
  • LINE-1 hypomethylation and colon cancer aggression
  • One-carbon nutrients, alcohol, and colon cancer risk according to TP53 status and LINE-1 methylation level Gut microbiota and colorectal cancer

This webinar will address the MPE paradigm and how it will contribute to personalized prevention and treatment strategies by providing a better understanding of the heterogeneity of carcinogenic processes and the influences from exogenous and endogenous factors.

Dr. Shuji Ogino

Dr. Ogino is Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

Shuji Ogino received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo, and his M.S. degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Ogino’s research focuses on Molecular Pathological Epidemiology (MPE), epigenetics, and colorectal cancer. He established MPE as an interdisciplinary science that deciphers diseases at both the molecular and population levels and contributes to personalized medicine and personalized prevention.

Dr. Ogino has published 128 original papers in a variety of high-profile journals, and his work has been quoted more than 5100 times over the past 5 years. As a result of his unique and pioneering work in establishing and developing MPE, Dr. Ogino received the prestigious Ramzi Cotran Young Investigator Award in 2011 from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.