Hideho Okada, MD, PhD

Hideho Okada, MD, PhD

Professor of Neurological Surgery, Surgery and Immunology, UCSF


San Francisco, CA 94158

Research Summary

As a physician scientist, I have been dedicated to brain tumor immunology and development of effective immunotherapy for brain tumors for over 20 years. My team was one of very first to discover cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes in glioma-associated and glioma-specific neoantigens, and found critical roles for the integrin receptor known as very late activation antigen (VLA)-4 in facilitating entry of CTLs to the brain tumor site. I have translated these discoveries into novel vaccine and immune-gene therapy clinical studies in both adult and pediatric brain tumor patients. I am a member in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2010-present), an honored society for physicians who promote laboratory science to the clinic. My current national and international leadership roles include: chair of the immunotherapy subgroup at the NCI-sponsored Adult Brain Tumor Consortium; a Steering Committee member of the Cancer Immunology Working Group in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR); a co-chair for Education Day at 2015 the Society for Neuro-Oncology annual meeting; and an Organizing Committee member for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the AACR.


Nagoya University School of Medicine-Japan, M.D., 1991, Medicine
Nagoya University School of Medicine-Japan, Ph.D., 1996, Medicine
Handa Municipal Hospital-Japan, Internship, Residency, 1991-1992
Nagoya University School of Medicine-Japan, Residency, 1992-1996, Neurosurgery

Professional Experience

  • 1998-2001
    Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, UPSOM 
  • 2001-2006
    Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery and Surgery, UPSOM
  • 2004-present
    Co-Program Leader, Brain Tumor Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • 2007-2012
    Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery and Surgery, UPSOM
  • 2012-present
    Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Surgery and Immunology UPSOM

Honors & Awards

  • 1996
    Uehara Memorial Foundation Postdoctoral Scholarship
  • 1998
    First Place, Award for Scientific Excellence and Potential, 10th Annual University of Pittsburgh, Cancer Institute Scientific Retreat
  • 2001
    Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Clinical Scientist Development Award
  • 2003
    James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Science Initiative Research Award: Brain Cancer Research
  • 2007
    Excellence in Translational Medicine Award 2006-07 from Journal of Translational Medicine
  • 2008
    University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award
  • 2010
    Team Science Recognition Award by Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer
  • 2011
    Faculty Honoree in the Annual Convocation of University of Pittsburgh

Selected Publications

  1. Hatano M, Eguchi J, Tatsumi T, Kuwashima N, Dusak JE, Kinch MS, Pollack IF, Hamilton RL, Storkus WJ and Okada H. EphA2 as a glioma-associated antigen: a novel target for glioma-vaccines. Neoplasia. 7(8): 717-722.2005. PMCID: PMC1501889
  2. Nishimura F, Dusak JE, Eguchi J, Zhu X, Gambotto A, Storkus, WH, and Okada H. Adoptive Transfer of Type-1 CTL Mediates Effective Anti-CNS Tumor Response: Critical Roles of IFN-Inducible Protein-10. Cancer Res. 66 (8): 4478-4487. 2006. PMID: 16618775
  3. Eguchi J, Hatano M, Nishimura, F, Zhu X, Dusak JE, Sato H, Pollack IF, Storkus WJ and Okada H. Identification of interleukin-13 receptor α2 peptide analogues capable of inducing improved anti-glioma CTL responses. Cancer Res. 66(11):5883-91. 2006. PMID: 16740728
  4. Okada H, Lieberman FS, Walter KA, Lunsford LD, Kondziolka DS, Bejjani GK, Hamilton RL, Torres-Trejo A, Kalinski P, Cai Q,, Mabold JL, Edington HD, Butterfield LH, Whiteside TL, Douglas M. Potter DM, Schold SC and Pollack IF. Autologous glioma cell vaccine admixed with interleukin-4 gene transfected fibroblasts in the treatment of patients with malignant gliomas. J Transl Med. 5(1):67. 2007. PMCID: PMC2254376
  5. Sasaki K, Zhu X, Vasquez C, Nishimura F, Dusak JE, Huang J, Fujita M, Wesa A, Potter DM, Walker PR, Storkus WJ, and Okada H. Preferential expression of VLA-4 on Tc1 cells plays a critical role in trafficking into central nervous system tumors. Cancer Res. 67 (13):6451-6458. 2007. PMID: 17616706
  6. Fujita M, Zhu X, Sasaki K, Ueda R, Low KL, Pollack IF and Okada H. Inhibition of STAT3 promotes the efficacy of adoptive transfer therapy using type-1 CTLs by modulation of the immunological microenvironment in a murine intracranial glioma. J Immunol. 180(4):2089-2098. 2008. PMID: 18250414
  7. Ueda R, Kohanbash G, Sasaki K, Fujita M, Zhu X, Kastenhuber ER, McDonald HA, Potter DM, Hamilton RL, Lotze MT, Khan SA, Sobol RW, and Okada H. Dicer-regulated microRNAs 222 and 339 promote resistance of cancer cells to cytotoxic T-lymphocytes by down-regulation of ICAM-1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106(26):10746-51, 2009. PMCID: PMC2705554
  8. Sasaki K, Kohanbash G, Hoji A, Fujita M, Ueda R, McDonald HA, Reinhart TA, Martinson J, Lotze MT, Wang E, Marincola FM and Okada H. Regulation of miR-17-92 Expression in Differentiated T cells – Implications for cancer immunotherapy. J Transl Med. 8(1):17 (2010). PMCID: PMC2836279
  9. Fujita M, Zhu X, Ueda R, Sasaki K, Kohanbash G, Kastenhuber ER, McDonald HA, Gibson GA, Watkins SC, Muthuswamy R, Kalinski P, and Okada H. Effective immunotherapy against a murine glioma using type-1 polarizing DCs - significant roles of CXCL10. Cancer Res. 15;69(4):1587-95. 2009 NIHMSID # 83293
  10. Ueda R, Fujita M, Zhu X, Sasaki K, Kastenhuber ER, Kohanbash G, McDonald HA, Harper J, Lonning S, and Okada H. Systemic Inhibition of Transforming Growth Factor-β in Glioma-Bearing Mice Improves the Therapeutic Efficacy of Glioma-Associated Antigen Peptide Vaccines. Clin Cancer Res 15(21):6551-9 (2009). PMCID: PMC2783346
  11. Fujita M, Scheurer ME, Decker SA, McDonald HA, Kohanbash G, Kastenhumber ER, Kato H, Bondy ML, Ohlfest JR, Okada H. Role of Type-1 Interferons in Anti-Glioma Immunosurveillance - Using Mouse Studies to Guide Examination of Novel Prognostic Markers in Humans. Clin Cancer Res. 16 (13):3409-19 (2010). PMCID: PMC2896455
  12. Zhu X, Fujita M, Snyder LA and Okada H. Systemic Delivery of Neutralizing Antibody Targeting CCL2 for Glioma Therapy. J. Neuro-Oncol. 104(1):83-92 (2011). PMCID: PMC3068234
  13. Okada H, Kalinski P, Ueda R, Hoji A, Kohanbash G, Donegan TE, Mintz AH, Engh JA, Bartlett DL, Brown CK, Zeh H, Holtzman MP, Reinhart TA, Whiteside TL, Butterfield LH, Hamilton RL, Potter DM, Pollack IF, Salazar AM and Lieberman FS. Induction of CD8+ T-cell Responses against Novel Glioma-Associated Antigen Peptides and Clinical Activity by Vaccinations with α-Type-1-Polarized Dendritic Cells and Poly-ICLC in Patients with Recurrent Malignant Glioma. J. Clin Oncol. 29(3):330-6 (2011). PMCID: PMC3056467
  14. Fujita M, Kohanbash G, Fellows-Mayle W, Hamilton RL, Komohara Y, Decker SA, Ohlfest JR and Okada H. COX-2 blockade suppresses gliomagenesis by inhibiting myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Cancer Res. 71(7):2664-74 (2011). PMCID: PMC3075086
  15. Yeung JT, Hamilton RL, Okada H, Jakacki RI, Pollack IF. Increased expression of tumor-associated antigens in pediatric and adult ependymomas: implication for vaccine therapy. J Neurooncol. 111(2):103-11 (2013). PMCID: PMC3546121
  16. Yeung JT, Hamilton RL, Ohnishi K, Ikeura M, Potter DM, Nikiforova MN, Ferrone S, Jakacki RI, Pollack IF, Okada H. LOH in the HLA Class I region at 6p21 is Associated with Shorter Survival in Newly Diagnosed Adult Glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 19(7):1816-26 (2013) PMID: 23401227
  17. Liu Y, Kosaka A, Ikeura M, Kohanbash G, Fellows-Mayle W, Snyder LA and Okada H. Premetastatic soil and prevention of breast cancer brain metastasis. Neuro-Oncol. (Epub 2013 Apr 17)