UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Ronald Buckanovich, MD, PhD

Ronald Buckanovich
Professor of Medicine and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science
Co-Leader, Hillman Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program
Co-Director, UPMC Ovarian Cancer Center of Excellence
Co-Director, Women’s Cancer Research Center

Contact Information

Contact Information

204 Craft Avenue, B333
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-641-4721
Email: buckanovichrj@upmc.edu

Administrative Assistant
Name: Colleen Kelly
Phone: 412-641-8556
Email: kellyc11@mail.magee.edu
Fax: 412-641-8605

Research Keywords

Research Keywords

Ovarian cancer; cancer stem cells; tumor vasculature; targeted therapies

Research Summary

Research Summary

Cancer stem cells (CSC) are rare, inherently chemoresistant cells, which have the capacity to differentiate and generate the numerous cancer cell types observed in a tumor. CSC are hypothesized to be the primary source of cancer recurrence and ultimately a patient's demise. The primary objective of my laboratory is to understand cellular interactions in the tumor vascular/cancer stem cell niche with the goal of developing novel therapeutics targeting CSC proliferation and differentiation. In order to characterize these interactions, we have performed an extensive characterization of ovarian CSC and have begun to define a differentiation hierarchy of the ovarian CSC. In addition, we have characterized several components of the ovarian CSC niche; we have extensively characterized the ovarian tumor vasculature, tumor vascular associated leukocytes, and cancer associated mesenchymal stem cells. We have developed novel in vitro microfluidics devices as a means to study symmetric versus asymmetric divisions of CSC, and novel human in vivo tumor models for the study of ovarian CSC growth and differentiation. Finally, we have developed tumor vascular niche targeted nanoparticle platform with which to assess the efficacy of CSC targeted therapies delivered specifically to CSC. We are now perfectly placed to significantly develop the field of cancer stem cell based differentiation targeted therapies.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  • Vergote IB, Smith DC, Berger R, Kurzrock R, Vogelzang NJ, Sella A, Wheler J, Lee Y, Foster PG, Weitzman R, Buckanovich RJ. A phase 2 randomised discontinuation trial of cabozantinib in patients with ovarian carcinoma. Eur J Cancer. 2017 Sep;83:229-236. PubMed Link
  • Bai S, Ingram P, Chen YC, Deng N, Pearson A, Niknafs Y, O'Hayer P, Wang Y, Zhang ZY, Boscolo E, Bischoff J, Yoon E, Buckanovich RJ. EGFL6 regulates the asymmetric division, maintenance, and metastasis of ALDH+ ovarian cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2016 Nov 1;76(21):6396-6409. PubMed Link
  • Coffman LG, Burgos-Ojeda D, Wu R, Cho K, Bai S, Buckanovich RJ. New models of hematogenous ovarian cancer metastasis demonstrate preferential spread to the ovary and a requirement for the ovary for abdominal dissemination. Transl Res. 2016 Sep;175:92-102.e2. PubMed Link
  • Mathew E, Brannon AL, Del Vecchio A, Garcia PE, Penny MK, Kane KT, Vinta A, Buckanovich RJ, di Magliano MP. Mesenchymal stem cells promote pancreatic tumor growth by inducing alternative polarization of macrophages. Neoplasia. 2016 Mar;18(3):142-51. PubMed Link
  • Coffman LG, Choi YJ, McLean K, Allen BL, di Magliano MP, Buckanovich RJ. Human carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells promote ovarian cancer chemotherapy resistance via a BMP4/HH signaling loop. Oncotarget. 2016 Feb 9;7(6):6916-32. PubMed Link
  • Choi YJ, Ingram PN, Yang K, Coffman L, Iyengar M, Bai S, Thomas DG, Yoon E, Buckanovich RJ. Identifying an ovarian cancer cell hierarchy regulated by bone morphogenetic protein 2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Dec 15;112(50):E6882-8. PubMed Link
  • Burgos-Ojeda D, Wu R, McLean K, Chen YC, Talpaz M, Yoon E, Cho KR, Buckanovich RJ. CD24+ ovarian cancer cells are enriched for cancer-initiating cells and dependent on JAK2 signaling for growth and metastasis. Mol Cancer Ther. 2015 Jul;14(7):1717-27. PubMed Link
  • Raghavan S, Ward MR, Rowley KR, Wold RM, Takayama S, Buckanovich RJ, Mehta G. Formation of stable small cell number three-dimensional ovarian cancer spheroids using hanging drop arrays for preclinical drug sensitivity assays. Gynecol Oncol. 2015 Jul;138(1):181-9. PubMed Link
  • Wu J, Yin H, Zhu J, Buckanovich RJ, Thorpe JD, Dai J, Urban N, Lubman DM. Validation of LRG1 as a potential biomarker for detection of epithelial ovarian cancer by a blinded study. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 23;10(3):e0121112. PubMed Link
  • Liu JF, Barry WT, Birrer M, Lee JM, Buckanovich RJ, Fleming GF, Rimel B, Buss MK, Nattam S, Hurteau J, Luo W, Quy P, Whalen C, Obermayer L, Lee H, Winer EP, Kohn EC, Ivy SP, Matulonis UA. Combination cediranib and olaparib versus olaparib alone for women with recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer: a randomised phase 2 study. Lancet Oncol. 2014 Oct;15(11):1207-14. PubMed Link

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Last modified: 7/12/18