University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Osamu Tetsu, MD, PhD

Osamu Tetsu, MD, PhD

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

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Experimental Therapeutics

Research Summary

Osamu Tetsu, MD, PhD, is an Associate 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.


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 - 2016
    Assistant Professor In-Residence, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2016 - present
    Associate 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

  • Tetsu O, Kanno R, Isono K, Taniguchi M, Kanno M. Cloning and characterization of two transcripts generated from the mel-13 gene positioned adjacent to the mammalian Polycomb group-related gene mel-18. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1996; 1305:109-12.
  • Hasegawa M, Tetsu O, Kanno R, Inoue H, Ishihara H, Kamiyasu M, Taniguchi M, Kanno M. Mammalian Polycomb group genes are categorized as a new type of early response gene induced by B-cell receptor cross-linking. Mol Immunol. 1998; 35:559-63.
  • Tetsu O, Ishihara H, Kanno R, Kamiyasu M, Inoue H, Tokuhisa T, Taniguchi M, Kanno M. mel-18 negatively regulates cell cycle progression upon B cell antigen receptor stimulation through a cascade leading to c-myc/cdc25. Immunity. 1998; 9:439-48.
  • Tetsu O, McCormick F. Beta-catenin regulates expression of cyclin D1 in colon carcinoma cells. Nature. 1999; 398:422-6.
  • Wakita K, Tetsu O, McCormick F. A mammalian two-hybrid system for adenomatous polyposis coli-mutated colon cancer therapeutics. Cancer Res. 2001; 61:854-8.
  • Wakita K, McCormick F, Tetsu O. Method for screening ecdysone-inducible stable cell lines. Biotechniques. 2001; 31:414-8.
  • Tetsu O, McCormick F. Proliferation of cancer cells despite CDK2 inhibition. Cancer Cell. 2003; 3:233-45.
  • Rodriguez-Viciana P*, Tetsu O*, Tidyman WE, Estep AL, Conger BA, Santa Cruz M, McCormick F, Rauen KA. Germline Mutations in Genes within the MAPK Pathway Cause Cardio-facio-cutaneous Syndrome. Science. 2006 Jan 26; [Epub ahead of print] (*co-first author)
  • Okabe H, Lee SH, Phuchareon J, Albertson DG, McCormick F, Tetsu O. (2006). A critical role for FBXW8 and MAPK in cyclin D1 degradation and cancer cell proliferation. PLoS ONE 1 e128, 1-12.
  • Senawong T, Phuchareon J, Ohara O, McCormick F, Rauen KA, Tetsu O. (2008). Germline mutations of MEK in cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome are sensitive to MEK and RAF inhibition: Implications for therapeutic options. Hum Mol Genet. 17: 419-30. (2007 Nov 2; [Epub ahead of print])
  • Phuchareon J, Ohta Y, Woo JM, Eisele DW, Tetsu O. (2009). Genetic profiling reveals cross-contamination and misidentification of 6 adenoid cystic carcinoma cell lines: ACC2, ACC3, ACCM, ACCNS, ACCS and CAC2. PLoS One. 2009 Jun 25; 4(6):e6040.