Osamu Tetsu, MD, PhD

Osamu Tetsu, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, UCSF


Phone: (415) 514-0870 (voice)
Box 1330, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-1330

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Cancer Center Membership

Associate Member » Non-aligned

Research Summary

Osamu Tetsu, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Research Laboratory in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his MD from Chiba University, Japan and he completed his residency program from the Chiba University Hospital in Japan. Dr. Tetsu obtained his PhD in molecular immunology at Chiba University, and this was following by a postdoctoral in cancer biology at UCSF.

Dr. Tetsu’s research focus is to understand the molecular mechanism of head and neck cancer, especially salivary gland tumors, and to identify novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of various types of neoplasm in the head and neck. His laboratory is interested in molecular mechanism underlying initiation and progression of head and neck cancers and other malignancies. They have exploited the cell signaling pathways that make cancers different from normal tissues.


Cancer Biology


Tumor Initiation and Progression, Growth Control, Cell-Signaling, Targeted Therapy, and Molecular Biomarkers

Professional Interests:

Cancer Biology, Salivary gland and Head and Neck cancers, Targeted Therapy, Receptor Tyrosine Kinases (RTKs), cyclin D1, Cell-cycle Regulation, Signal Transduction, the Wnt/ß-Catenin Pathway, the Ras/MAPK Pathway, the Proteasome-Ubiquitin Pathway, Apoptotic Cell Death, Cellular Senescence, Developmental Therapeutics, Drug Discovery, Small-Molecule Inhibitors, and Molecular Biomarkers

Education and Training:

• Medical School: Chiba University, Japan

• Residency: Chiba University Hospital, Japan – General and GI Surgery

• PhD: Chiba University, Japan – Molecular Immunology

• Postdoctoral: University of California, San Francisco – Cancer Biology

Awards and Honors:

• 1990 Chiba University Department of Surgery - Dr. Kaichi Isono, M.D. Award

• 2000 Uehara Memorial Foundation – Uehara Scholar Award

• 2003 American Cancer Society – Institutional Individual Award

• 2004 Concern Foundation – Young Investigator Award

• 2004 Chiba University School of Medicine Alumni Association - Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

• 2005 V Foundation – V Scholar Award

• 2010 American Head and Neck Society – Dr. Alando J Ballantyne, M.D. Research Award


Chiba University, School of Medicine, M.D., 1989, Medicine
Chiba University, Graduate School of Medicine, Ph.D., 1997, Surgery and Immunology
Chiba University Hospital, Department of Surgery, Residency, 1990-1997, General Surgery
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoc, 1997-2002, Cancer Biology

Professional Experience

  • 1990-1997
    Resident, Department of Surgery, Chiba University Hospital
  • 1997-1999
    Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Frank McCormick Lab, Cancer Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1999-2002
    Assistant Research Biochemist, Dr. Frank McCormick Lab, Cancer Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2002-2005
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, Cancer Research Institute and Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2005-2007
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2007- 2008
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2008-present
    Assistant Professor In-Residence, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1990
    Chiba University Hospital, 6th Isono Prize (1st place) for the Best Resident's Presentation
  • 1993-1997
    The Japan Scholarship Foundation, Graduate School Student Fellowship
  • 2000
    The Uehara Memorial Foundation, Research Fellowship Award
  • 2003
    American Cancer Society, Institutional Individual Research Award
  • 2004
    UCSF Research-Evaluation and Allocation Committee (REAC), New Junior Faculty Award
  • 2004
    Chiba University School of Medicine Alumni Association, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
  • 2004
    The Concern Foundation, Young Investigator Award
  • 2005
    The V Foundation for Cancer Research, V Scholar Award
  • 2009-2010
    UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee Award

Selected Publications

  1. Phuchareon J, McCormick F, Eisele DW, Tetsu O. EGFR inhibition generates drug-tolerant persister cells by blocking AKT activity. Cancer Cell Microenviron. 2015; 2(3):e1045.
    View on PubMed
  2. Tetsu O, Phuchareon J, Eisele DW, Hangauer MJ, McCormick F. AKT Inactivation Causes Persistent Drug Tolerance to EGFR Inhibitors. Pharmacol Res. 2015 Oct 7.
    View on PubMed
  3. Tetsu O, Eisele DW, McCormick F. Resistance to EGFR-targeted Therapy by Ets-1 Inactivation. Cell Cycle. 2015 Aug 27; 0.
    View on PubMed
  4. Tetsu O, Phuchareon J, Eisele, DW, McCormick F. ETS1 inactivation causes innate drug resistance to EGFR inhibitors. Mol Cell Onc. 2015.
    View on PubMed
  5. Phuchareon J, McCormick F, Eisele DW, Tetsu O. EGFR inhibition evokes innate drug resistance in lung cancer cells by preventing Akt activity and thus inactivating Ets-1 function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jul 21; 112(29):E3855-63.
    View on PubMed
  6. You B, Yang YL, Xu Z, Dai Y, Liu S, Mao JH, Tetsu O, Li H, Jablons DM, You L. Inhibition of ERK1/2 down-regulates the Hippo/YAP signaling pathway in human NSCLC cells. Oncotarget. 2015 Feb 28; 6(6):4357-68.
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  7. Phuchareon J, Overdevest JB, McCormick F, Eisele DW, van Zante A, Tetsu O. Fatty Acid binding protein 7 is a molecular marker in adenoid cystic carcinoma of the salivary glands: implications for clinical significance. Transl Oncol. 2014 Dec; 7(6):780-7.
    View on PubMed
  8. Phuchareon J, van Zante A, Overdevest JB, McCormick F, Eisele DW, Tetsu O. c-Kit Expression is Rate-Limiting for Stem Cell Factor-Mediated Disease Progression in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Salivary Glands. Transl Oncol. 2014 Oct; 7(5):537-45.
    View on PubMed
  9. Heaton CM, Durr ML, Tetsu O, van Zante A, Wang SJ. TP53 and CDKN2a mutations in never-smoker oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma. Laryngoscope. 2014 Jul; 124(7):E267-73.
    View on PubMed
  10. Ikeda Y, Oda K, Hiraike-Wada O, Koso T, Miyasaka A, Kashiyama T, Tanikawa M, Sone K, Nagasaka K, Maeda D, Kawana K, Nakagawa S, Fukayama M, Tetsu O, Fujii T, Yano T, Kozuma S. Cyclin D1 harboring the T286I mutation promotes oncogenic activation in endometrial cancer. Oncol Rep. 2013 Aug; 30(2):584-8.
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  11. Tetsu O, Phuchareon J, Chou A, Cox DP, Eisele DW, Jordan RC. Mutations in the c-Kit gene disrupt mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling during tumor development in adenoid cystic carcinoma of the salivary glands. Neoplasia. 2010 Sep; 12(9):708-17.
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  12. Phuchareon J, Ohta Y, Woo JM, Eisele DW, Tetsu O. Genetic profiling reveals cross-contamination and misidentification of 6 adenoid cystic carcinoma cell lines: ACC2, ACC3, ACCM, ACCNS, ACCS and CAC2. PLoS One. 2009; 4(6):e6040.
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  13. Senawong T, Phuchareon J, Ohara O, McCormick F, Rauen KA, Tetsu O. Germline mutations of MEK in cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome are sensitive to MEK and RAF inhibition: implications for therapeutic options. Hum Mol Genet. 2008 Feb 1; 17(3):419-30.
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  14. Okabe H, McCormick F, Tetsu O. Modulation of MAPK-mediated phosphorylation and/or FBXW8-mediated ubiquitinylation of cyclin D1 in modulation of cellular proliferation. 2007.
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  15. Okabe H, Lee SH, Phuchareon J, Albertson DG, McCormick F, Tetsu O. A critical role for FBXW8 and MAPK in cyclin D1 degradation and cancer cell proliferation. PLoS One. 2006; 1:e128.
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  16. Rodriguez-Viciana P, Tetsu O, Tidyman WE, Estep AL, Conger BA, Cruz MS, McCormick F, Rauen KA. Germline mutations in genes within the MAPK pathway cause cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome. Science. 2006 Mar 3; 311(5765):1287-90.
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  17. Rodriguez-Viciana P, Tetsu O, Oda K, Okada J, Rauen K, McCormick F. Cancer targets in the Ras pathway. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2005; 70:461-7.
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  18. Tetsu O, Wakita K, McCormick F. Mammalian two-hybrid system for screening for modulators of the accumulation of metabolic products. 2004.
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  19. Tetsu O, McCormick F. Proliferation of cancer cells despite CDK2 inhibition. Cancer Cell. 2003 Mar; 3(3):233-45.
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  20. Wakita K, McCormick F, Tetsu O. Method for screening ecdysone-inducible stable cell lines. Biotechniques. 2001 Aug; 31(2):414-8.
    View on PubMed

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