Research Summary

My primary clinical and research interests focus on gastrointestinal malignancies, where I have developed and led multiple clinical trials, both within UCSF and across multiple sites nationwide and overseas. I am interested in the development and evaluation of new therapeutic agents ranging from novel cytotoxics to molecular targeted agents to immunotherapies, with a particular emphasis on evaluating these in patients with pancreatic cancer. This work has entailed collaborating with laboratory-based investigators on the correlative/translational science to identify individual patient/tumor characteristics that influence prognosis and response to specific therapies, including both tissue- and blood-based biomarkers. Other university responsibilities include leading the site committee for gastrointestinal cancer-specific clinical trial development at the UCSF HDFCCC and serving as chair of the scientific Protocol Review Committee. Nationally, I have served on the scientific program committee, grants committee, and specialty editorial board for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), sit on the editorial board for multiple peer-reviewed oncology journals, and am currently a member of NCI’s Pancreatic Cancer Task Force and the NCCN Pancreatic Cancer guidelines committee.

Research Funding

  • September 19, 2011 - August 31, 2014 - Dual Targeting of MEK and EGFR Signaling Pathways in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA149939
  • September 19, 2011 - August 31, 2014 - Dual Targeting of MEK and EGFR Signaling Pathways in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA149939
  • September 19, 2011 - August 31, 2014 - Dual Targeting of MEK and EGFR Signaling Pathways in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA149939
  • September 19, 2011 - August 31, 2014 - Dual Targeting of MEK and EGFR Signaling Pathways in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R21CA149939

Education

Brown University, Providence, RI, Sc.B., 1991, Applied Mathematics/Biology
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, M.D., 1995, Medicine
Board certified, Internal Medicine, 1998
Board certified, Medical Oncology, 2002

Honors & Awards

  • 1987
    National Merit Scholarship
  • 1988
    IBM Thomas J. Watson Memorial Scholarship
  • 1990
    Sigma Xi, elected associate member
  • 1991
    Departmental honors and Magna cum laude, Brown University
  • 1993
    Alpha Omega Alpha, student essay competition honoree
  • 1994
    Harry C. Saltzstein Prize in Medical Writing, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • 1995
    Medical Assistance Programs/Reader's Digest International Fellowship
  • 2000
    Amgen National Oncology Fellows' Forum, selected for oral presentation
  • 2000
    American Society of Clinical Oncology, Travel Award (meritorious abstract)
  • 2001
    Digestive Disease Center Collaborative Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2003
    UCSF Cancer Center Clinical Investigator Research Program award
  • 2003
    American Society of Clinical Oncology Career Development Award
  • 2007
    Joan Rombauer UCSF Endowed Fellowship
  • 2008
    UCSF Kaiser Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Classroom Setting, nominee
  • 2011
    NCI Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award
  • 2013
    UCSF Hematology and Oncology Division Teaching Award

Selected Publications

  1. Tsang ES, Walker EJ, Carnevale J, Fisher GA, Ko AH. Durable response after immune checkpoint inhibitor-related diabetes in mismatch repair deficient pancreatic cancer. Immunotherapy. 2021 Aug 02.  View on PubMed
  2. Wong A, Zhu D, Tong JY, Ko A, Tham T, Kraus D. The jaw-dropping costs of oral cavity cancer malpractice. Head Neck. 2021 May 29.  View on PubMed
  3. Kelly RJ, Ajani JA, Kuzdzal J, Zander T, Van Cutsem E, Piessen G, Mendez G, Feliciano J, Motoyama S, Lièvre A, Uronis H, Elimova E, Grootscholten C, Geboes K, Zafar S, Snow S, Ko AH, Feeney K, Schenker M, Kocon P, Zhang J, Zhu L, Lei M, Singh P, Kondo K, Cleary JM, Moehler M, CheckMate 577 Investigators . Adjuvant Nivolumab in Resected Esophageal or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2021 04 01; 384(13):1191-1203.  View on PubMed
  4. Tempero MA, Malafa MP, Al-Hawary M, Behrman SW, Benson AB, Cardin DB, Chiorean EG, Chung V, Czito B, Del Chiaro M, Dillhoff M, Donahue TR, Dotan E, Ferrone CR, Fountzilas C, Hardacre J, Hawkins WG, Klute K, Ko AH, Kunstman JW, LoConte N, Lowy AM, Moravek C, Nakakura EK, Narang AK, Obando J, Polanco PM, Reddy S, Reyngold M, Scaife C, Shen J, Vollmer C, Wolff RA, Wolpin BM, Lynn B, George GV. Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma, Version 2.2021, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2021 Apr 01; 19(4):439-457.  View on PubMed
  5. O'Hara MH, O'Reilly EM, Varadhachary G, Wolff RA, Wainberg ZA, Ko AH, Fisher G, Rahma O, Lyman JP, Cabanski CR, Mick R, Gherardini PF, Kitch LJ, Xu J, Samuel T, Karakunnel J, Fairchild J, Bucktrout S, LaVallee TM, Selinsky C, Till JE, Carpenter EL, Alanio C, Byrne KT, Chen RO, Trifan OC, Dugan U, Horak C, Hubbard-Lucey VM, Wherry EJ, Ibrahim R, Vonderheide RH. CD40 agonistic monoclonal antibody APX005M (sotigalimab) and chemotherapy, with or without nivolumab, for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma: an open-label, multicentre, phase 1b study. Lancet Oncol. 2021 01; 22(1):118-131.  View on PubMed
  6. Shitara K, Van Cutsem E, Bang YJ, Fuchs C, Wyrwicz L, Lee KW, Kudaba I, Garrido M, Chung HC, Lee J, Castro HR, Mansoor W, Braghiroli MI, Karaseva N, Caglevic C, Villanueva L, Goekkurt E, Satake H, Enzinger P, Alsina M, Benson A, Chao J, Ko AH, Wainberg ZA, Kher U, Shah S, Kang SP, Tabernero J. Efficacy and Safety of Pembrolizumab or Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy vs Chemotherapy Alone for Patients With First-line, Advanced Gastric Cancer: The KEYNOTE-062 Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2020 10 01; 6(10):1571-1580.  View on PubMed
  7. Hoang T, Dayyani F, Alfaro A, Huynh J, Ji J, Ko AH, Cho M, Hiyama D. Variability in multimodality treatment influences survival in non-metastatic gastric cancer patients. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2020 Oct; 11(5):952-963.  View on PubMed
  8. Ko AH, Jordan AC, Tooker E, Lacey SF, Chang RB, Li Y, Venook AP, Tempero M, Damon L, Fong L, O'Hara MH, Levine BL, Melenhorst JJ, Plesa G, June CH, Beatty GL. Dual Targeting of Mesothelin and CD19 with Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cells in Patients with Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. Mol Ther. 2020 11 04; 28(11):2367-2378.  View on PubMed
  9. Shah MA, Enzinger P, Ko AH, Ocean AJ, Philip PA, Thakkar PV, Cleveland K, Lu Y, Kortmansky J, Christos PJ, Zhang C, Kaur N, Elmonshed D, Galletti G, Sarkar S, Bhinder B, Pittman ME, Plotnikova OM, Kotlov N, Frenkel F, Bagaev A, Elemento O, Betel D, Giannakakou P, Lenz HJ. Multicenter Phase II Study of Cabazitaxel in Advanced Gastroesophageal Cancer: Association of HER2 Expression and M2-Like Tumor-Associated Macrophages with Patient Outcome. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 09 15; 26(18):4756-4766.  View on PubMed
  10. Wang ZJ, Zhang TT, An C, Ko AH, Tempero M, Collisson E, Yeh BM. Estimation of Fractional Extracellular Space at CT for Predicting Chemotherapy Response and Survival in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020 09; 215(3):610-616.  View on PubMed
  11. Burns ST, Damon L, Akagi N, Laszik Z, Ko AH. Rapid Improvement in Gemcitabine-associated Thrombotic Microangiopathy After a Single Dose of Eculizumab: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Anticancer Res. 2020 Jul; 40(7):3995-4000.  View on PubMed
  12. Wu AA, Bever KM, Ho WJ, Fertig EJ, Niu N, Zheng L, Parkinson RM, Durham JN, Onners B, Ferguson AK, Wilt C, Ko AH, Wang-Gillam A, Laheru DA, Anders RA, Thompson ED, Sugar EA, Jaffee EM, Le DT. A Phase II Study of Allogeneic GM-CSF-Transfected Pancreatic Tumor Vaccine (GVAX) with Ipilimumab as Maintenance Treatment for Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 10 01; 26(19):5129-5139.  View on PubMed
  13. Kundranda M, Gracian AC, Zafar SF, Meiri E, Bendell J, Algül H, Rivera F, Ahn ER, Watkins D, Pelzer U, Charu V, Zalutskaya A, Kuesters G, Pipas JM, Santillana S, Askoxylakis V, Ko AH. Corrigendum to 'Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II study of istiratumab (MM-141) plus nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine versus nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine in front-line metastatic pancreatic cancer (CARRIE)': Annals of Oncology, Volume 31, Issue 1, 2020, Pages 79-87. Ann Oncol. 2020 08; 31(8):1094.  View on PubMed
  14. Susko M, Wang CJ, Lazar AA, Kim S, Laffan A, Feng M, Ko A, Venook AP, Atreya CE, Van Loon K, Anwar M. Factors Impacting Differential Outcomes in the Definitive Radiation Treatment of Anal Cancer Between HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Patients. Oncologist. 2020 09; 25(9):772-779.  View on PubMed
  15. Tsujikawa T, Crocenzi T, Durham JN, Sugar EA, Wu AA, Onners B, Nauroth JM, Anders RA, Fertig EJ, Laheru DA, Reiss K, Vonderheide RH, Ko AH, Tempero MA, Fisher GA, Considine M, Danilova L, Brockstedt DG, Coussens LM, Jaffee EM, Le DT. Evaluation of Cyclophosphamide/GVAX Pancreas Followed by Listeria-Mesothelin (CRS-207) with or without Nivolumab in Patients with Pancreatic Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 07 15; 26(14):3578-3588.  View on PubMed
  16. Ursem C, Zhou M, Paciorek A, Atreya CE, Ko AH, Venook A, Zhang L, Van Loon K. Clinicopathologic Characteristics and Impact of Oophorectomy for Ovarian Metastases from Colorectal Cancer. Oncologist. 2020 07; 25(7):564-571.  View on PubMed
  17. Kundranda M, Gracian AC, Zafar SF, Meiri E, Bendell J, Algül H, Rivera F, Ahn ER, Watkins D, Pelzer U, Charu V, Zalutskaya A, Kuesters G, Pipas JM, Santillana S, Askoxylakis V, Ko AH. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II study of istiratumab (MM-141) plus nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine versus nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine in front-line metastatic pancreatic cancer (CARRIE). Ann Oncol. 2020 01; 31(1):79-87.  View on PubMed
  18. Diaz CL, Cinar P, Hwang J, Ko AH, Tempero MA. CA 19-9 Response: A Surrogate to Predict Survival in Patients With Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. Am J Clin Oncol. 2019 12; 42(12):898-902.  View on PubMed
  19. Savoie MB, Paciorek A, Zhang L, Van Blarigan EL, Sommovilla N, Abrams D, Atreya CE, Bergsland EK, Chern H, Kelley RK, Ko A, Laffan A, Sarin A, Varma MG, Venook AP, Van Loon K. Vitamin D Levels in Patients with Colorectal Cancer Before and After Treatment Initiation. J Gastrointest Cancer. 2019 Dec; 50(4):769-779.  View on PubMed
  20. Ko AH, Nakakura EK. Adjuvant Therapy for Ampullary Cancer. JAMA Surg. 2019 08 01; 154(8):715.  View on PubMed

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