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Peter Danenberg, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine
BMT B11G 1333 San Pablo Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 626 791 5234


Dr. Danenberg received a B.S. degree in chemistry from the Case Institute of Technology (now Case-Western Reserve University) and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Charles Heidelberger at the University of Wisconsin's McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. The initial phase of Dr. Danenberg's research career involved studies on the mechanisms of action of cancer drugs, with particular emphasis on the interaction of the fluorinated pyrimidines with the enzyme thymidylate synthase. This work ultimately gave rise to the still widely-used drug combination of 5-fluorourcil and folinic acid. His subsequent research was directed at identifying tumor biomarkers that would predict response to anti-cancer agents with the aim of promoting the concept of personalized medicine in cancer. Positive results from these studies, together with a procedure that Dr. Danenberg patented for isolating intact mRNA from paraffin-embedded tissues, formed the basis for the founding of the biotech-diagnostic company Response Genetics, Inc.


American Cancer Society: Faculty Research Award, 1979-1984


Folates as adjuvants to anticancer agents: Chemical rationale and mechanism of action. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2016 Oct; 106:118-31. View in: PubMed

Efficiency of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography to predict prognosis in breast cancer patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Springerplus. 2015; 4:817. View in: PubMed

Standing the test of time: targeting thymidylate biosynthesis in cancer therapy. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2014 May; 11(5):282-98. View in: PubMed

Regulation of MLH1 mRNA and protein expression by promoter methylation in primary colorectal cancer: a descriptive and prognostic cancer marker study. Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2013 Oct; 36(5):411-9. View in: PubMed

EGFR, FLT1 and heparanase as markers identifying patients at risk of short survival in cholangiocarcinoma. PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e64186. View in: PubMed

Glutathione S-transferase PI (GST-PI) mRNA expression and DNA methylation is involved in the pathogenesis and prognosis of NSCLC. Lung Cancer. 2012 Oct; 78(1):87-91. View in: PubMed

Response prediction in metastasised colorectal cancer using intratumoural thymidylate synthase: results of a randomised multicentre trial. Eur J Cancer. 2012 Jul; 48(10):1443-51. View in: PubMed

Gene expression of the mismatch repair gene MSH2 in primary colorectal cancer. Tumour Biol. 2011 Oct; 32(5):977-83. View in: PubMed

Biomarkers for cetuximab-based neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 May 15; 17(10):3469-77. View in: PubMed

Update of prognostic and predictive biomarkers in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: a review. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Jan; 268(1):5-16. View in: PubMed

Association of epidermal growth factor receptor activating mutations with low ERCC1 gene expression in non-small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Dec; 5(12):1933-8. View in: PubMed

The relationship between proangiogenic gene expression levels in prostate cancer and their prognostic value for clinical outcomes. Prostate. 2010 Nov 01; 70(15):1692-700. View in: PubMed

The prognostic role of Bcl-2 mRNA expression in curatively resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lung Cancer. 2010 Oct; 70(1):82-7. View in: PubMed

Low thymidylate synthase, thymidine phosphorylase, and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase mRNA expression correlate with prolonged survival in resected non-small-cell lung cancer. Clin Lung Cancer. 2010 Sep 01; 11(5):328-34. View in: PubMed

MDR1 and ERCC1 expression predict outcome of patients with locally advanced bladder cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Neoplasia. 2010 Aug; 12(8):628-36. View in: PubMed

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA levels and protein expression levels in primary colorectal cancer and corresponding liver metastases. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2010 Apr; 65(5):825-31. View in: PubMed

Ornithine decarboxylase mRNA expression in curatively resected non-small-cell lung cancer. Clin Lung Cancer. 2010 Mar 01; 11(2):114-9. View in: PubMed

A three-gene signature for outcome in soft tissue sarcoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Aug 15; 15(16):5191-8. View in: PubMed

Validation of a rodent model of Barrett's esophagus using quantitative gene expression profiling. Surg Endosc. 2009 Jun; 23(6):1346-52. View in: PubMed

Loss of heterozygosity at thymidylate synthase locus in Barrett's metaplasia, dysplasia, and carcinoma sequences. BMC Cancer. 2009 May 21; 9:157. View in: PubMed

Messenger RNA expression of COX-2 and angiogenic factors in primary colorectal cancer and corresponding liver metastasis. Int J Oncol. 2009 Apr; 34(4):1147-53. View in: PubMed

Prognostic Significance and Clinicopathological Associations of COX-2 SNP in Patients with Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer. J Oncol. 2009; 2009:139590. View in: PubMed

Alterations of p16 and p14ARF genes and their 9p21 locus in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2009 Jan; 107(1):81-91. View in: PubMed

Gene profiling and pathway analysis of neuroendocrine transdifferentiated prostate cancer cells. Prostate. 2009 Jan 01; 69(1):12-23. View in: PubMed

Thymidylate synthase, dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase, ERCC1, and thymidine phosphorylase gene expression in primary and metastatic gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma tissue in patients treated on a phase I trial of oxaliplatin and capecitabine. BMC Cancer. 2008 Dec 23; 8:386. View in: PubMed

High intratumoral dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase mRNA levels in pancreatic cancer associated with a high rate of response to S-1. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2008 Dec; 63(1):85-9. View in: PubMed

Thymidylate synthase, dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase mRNA and protein expression levels in solid tumors in large scale population analysis. Int J Mol Med. 2008 Dec; 22(6):709-16. View in: PubMed

Messenger RNA expression of TS and ERCC1 in colorectal cancer and matched liver metastasis. Int J Oncol. 2008 Dec; 33(6):1257-62. View in: PubMed

High expression of heparanase is significantly associated with dedifferentiation and lymph node metastasis in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas and correlated to PDGFA and via HIF1a to HB-EGF and bFGF. J Gastrointest Surg. 2008 Oct; 12(10):1674-81; discussion 1681-2. View in: PubMed

Both beta-actin and GAPDH are useful reference genes for normalization of quantitative RT-PCR in human FFPE tissue samples of prostate cancer. Prostate. 2008 Oct 01; 68(14):1555-60. View in: PubMed

Efficacy of laser capture microdissection plus RT-PCR technique in analyzing gene expression levels in human gastric cancer and colon cancer. BMC Cancer. 2008 Jul 25; 8:210. View in: PubMed

Plasma DNA is more reliable than carcinoembryonic antigen for diagnosis of recurrent esophageal cancer. J Am Coll Surg. 2008 Jul; 207(1):30-5. View in: PubMed

High expression of HIF1a is a predictor of clinical outcome in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas and correlated to PDGFA, VEGF, and bFGF. Neoplasia. 2008 Jul; 10(7):674-9. View in: PubMed

Messenger RNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptors in primary colorectal cancer and corresponding liver metastasis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Apr; 15(4):1232-8. View in: PubMed

Thymidylate synthase polymorphisms and mRNA expression are independent chemotherapy predictive markers in esophageal adenocarcinoma patients. Int J Oncol. 2008 Jan; 32(1):201-8. View in: PubMed

Prognostic value of the androgen receptor and its coactivators in patients with D1 prostate cancer. Anticancer Res. 2008 Jan-Feb; 28(1B):425-30. View in: PubMed

Serum lactate dehydrogenase levels and glycolysis significantly correlate with tumor VEGFA and VEGFR expression in metastatic CRC patients. Pharmacogenomics. 2007 Dec; 8(12):1705-13. View in: PubMed

Towards the molecular characterization of disease: comparison of molecular and histological analysis of esophageal epithelia. J Gastrointest Surg. 2007 Sep; 11(9):1095-104. View in: PubMed

DPD is a molecular determinant of capecitabine efficacy in colorectal cancer. Int J Oncol. 2007 Aug; 31(2):413-8. View in: PubMed

Plasma DNA as a molecular marker for completeness of resection and recurrent disease in patients with esophageal cancer. Arch Surg. 2007 Jun; 142(6):533-8; discussion 538-9. View in: PubMed

Reduction of interleukin 8 gene expression in reflux esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus with antireflux surgery. Arch Surg. 2007 Jun; 142(6):554-9; discussion 559-60. View in: PubMed

Human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 is associated with the chemosensitivity of gemcitabine in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma and biliary tract carcinoma cells. Oncol Rep. 2007 May; 17(5):1201-5. View in: PubMed

Predictive value of MSH2 gene expression in colorectal cancer treated with capecitabine. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2007 Mar; 6(6):433-5. View in: PubMed

Gene expression levels of epidermal growth factor receptor, survivin, and vascular endothelial growth factor as molecular markers of lymph node involvement in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2006 Nov; 6(4):305-11. View in: PubMed

Epidermal growth factor receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor variant III gene expression in metastatic colorectal cancer. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2006 Sep; 6(3):214-8. View in: PubMed

Increasing cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) gene expression in the progression of Barrett's esophagus to adenocarcinoma correlates with that of Bcl-2. Int J Cancer. 2006 Aug 15; 119(4):765-70. View in: PubMed

5-fluorouracil-related gene expression levels in primary colorectal cancer and corresponding liver metastasis. Int J Cancer. 2006 Aug 01; 119(3):522-6. View in: PubMed

An in vivo platform for translational drug development in pancreatic cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Aug 01; 12(15):4652-61. View in: PubMed

Genistein-induced neuroendocrine differentiation of prostate cancer cells. Prostate. 2006 Aug 01; 66(11):1136-43. View in: PubMed

DNA methyltransferases messenger RNA expression and aberrant methylation of CpG islands in non-small-cell lung cancer: association and prognostic value. Clin Lung Cancer. 2006 Jul; 8(1):39-44. View in: PubMed

Antireflux surgery normalizes cyclooxygenase-2 expression in squamous epithelium of the distal esophagus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul; 101(7):1458-66. View in: PubMed

Epidermal growth factor receptor messenger RNA expression, gene dosage, and gefitinib sensitivity in non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 May 15; 12(10):3078-84. View in: PubMed

Molecular determinants in targeted therapy for esophageal adenocarcinoma. Arch Surg. 2006 May; 141(5):476-81; discussion 481-2. View in: PubMed

Sex differences in the predictive power of the molecular prognostic factor HER2/neu in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. Clin Lung Cancer. 2006 Mar; 7(5):332-7. View in: PubMed

Expression and clinical significance of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase in patients with colorectal cancer. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2006 Jan; 5(5):344-9. View in: PubMed

Vascular endothelial growth factor messenger RNA expression level is preserved in liver metastases compared with corresponding primary colorectal cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Jan 01; 12(1):29-33. View in: PubMed

Molecular predictors of lymph node metastasis in colon cancer: increased risk with decreased thymidylate synthase expression. J Gastrointest Surg. 2005 Dec; 9(9):1216-21; discussion 1221. View in: PubMed

Increased CDX2 and decreased PITX1 homeobox gene expression in Barrett's esophagus and Barrett's-associated adenocarcinoma. Surgery. 2005 Nov; 138(5):924-31. View in: PubMed

Survivin, a potential biomarker in the development of Barrett's adenocarcinoma. Surgery. 2005 Oct; 138(4):701-6; discussion 706-7. View in: PubMed

The molecular signature of normal squamous esophageal epithelium identifies the presence of a field effect and can discriminate between patients with Barrett's esophagus and patients with Barrett's-associated adenocarcinoma. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Sep; 14(9):2113-7. View in: PubMed

Prediction of chemosensitivity of colorectal cancer to 5-fluorouracil by gene expression profiling with cDNA microarrays. Int J Oncol. 2005 Aug; 27(2):371-6. View in: PubMed

Thymidylate synthase and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase gene expression in breast cancer predicts 5-FU sensitivity by a histocultural drug sensitivity test. Cancer Lett. 2005 Jun 01; 223(1):103-11. View in: PubMed

Intratumoral COX-2 gene expression is a predictive factor for colorectal cancer response to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 May 01; 11(9):3363-8. View in: PubMed

High gene expression of TS1, GSTP1, and ERCC1 are risk factors for survival in patients treated with trimodality therapy for esophageal cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Mar 15; 11(6):2215-21. View in: PubMed

Comprehensive expression analysis of retinoic acid receptors and retinoid X receptors in non-small cell lung cancer: implications for tumor development and prognosis. Carcinogenesis. 2005 Mar; 26(3):525-30. View in: PubMed

A molecular/epidemiologic analysis of expression of cyclooxygenases 1 and 2, use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and risk of colorectal adenoma. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2005 Mar; 4(6):390-5. View in: PubMed

Downregulation of TS, DPD, ERCC1, GST-Pi, EGFR, and HER2 gene expression after neoadjuvant three-modality treatment in patients with esophageal cancer. J Am Coll Surg. 2005 Mar; 200(3):336-44. View in: PubMed

Quantitative, tissue-specific analysis of cyclooxygenase gene expression in the pathogenesis of Barrett's adenocarcinoma. J Gastrointest Surg. 2004 Dec; 8(8):1007-16; discussion 1016-7. View in: PubMed

Pharmacogenomics of thymidylate synthase in cancer treatment. Front Biosci. 2004 Sep 01; 9:2484-94. View in: PubMed

Increased acid exposure in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease influences cyclooxygenase-2 gene expression in the squamous epithelium of the lower esophagus. Arch Surg. 2004 Jul; 139(7):712-6; discussion 716-7. View in: PubMed

A multigene expression panel for the molecular diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus and Barrett's adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Oncogene. 2004 Jun 10; 23(27):4780-8. View in: PubMed

High specificity of quantitative excision repair cross-complementing 1 messenger RNA expression for prediction of minor histopathological response to neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy in esophageal cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jun 01; 10(11):3794-9. View in: PubMed

Role of retinoid X receptor mRNA expression in Barrett's esophagus. J Gastrointest Surg. 2004 May-Jun; 8(4):413-22. View in: PubMed

Osteopontin but not osteonectin messenger RNA expression is a prognostic marker in curatively resected non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Mar 01; 10(5):1588-96. View in: PubMed

HER-2 receptor expression, localization, and activation in colorectal cancer cell lines and human tumors. Int J Cancer. 2004 Feb 10; 108(4):540-8. View in: PubMed

Loss of heterozygosity at the thymidylate synthase (TS) locus on chromosome 18 affects tumor response and survival in individuals heterozygous for a 28-bp polymorphism in the TS gene. Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jan 15; 10(2):433-9. View in: PubMed

Quantitative determination of p16 gene expression by RT-PCR. Methods Mol Biol. 2004; 281:91-103. View in: PubMed

Inhibition of pre-mRNA splicing by cisplatin and platinum analogs. Int J Oncol. 2003 Sep; 23(3):785-9. View in: PubMed

Association between Cyclooxygenase expression and colorectal adenoma characteristics. Cancer Res. 2003 Jul 15; 63(14):3891-3. View in: PubMed

Preoperative twice-weekly paclitaxel with concurrent radiation therapy followed by surgery and postoperative doxorubicin-based chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer: a phase I/II trial. J Clin Oncol. 2003 Mar 01; 21(5):864-70. View in: PubMed

Vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor expression in esophageal adenocarcinoma and Barrett esophagus. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2003 Feb; 125(2):246-53. View in: PubMed

Thymidylate synthase expression in advanced colorectal cancer predicts for response to raltitrexed. Clin Cancer Res. 2003 Feb; 9(2):792-801. View in: PubMed

Quantitative O(6)-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase methylation analysis in curatively resected non-small cell lung cancer: associations with clinical outcome. Clin Cancer Res. 2003 Jan; 9(1):223-7. View in: PubMed

Functional polymorphism of the thymidylate synthase gene in colorectal cancer accompanied by frequent loss of heterozygosity. Jpn J Cancer Res. 2002 Nov; 93(11):1221-9. View in: PubMed

Low ERCC1 expression correlates with prolonged survival after cisplatin plus gemcitabine chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2002 Jul; 8(7):2286-91. View in: PubMed

Glutathione S-transferase-pi expression is downregulated in patients with Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. J Gastrointest Surg. 2002 May-Jun; 6(3):359-67. View in: PubMed

Prognostic significance of cyclooxygenase 2 mRNA expression in non-small cell lung cancer. Ann Surg. 2002 Mar; 235(3):440-3. View in: PubMed

Biochemical and molecular effects of UCN-01 in combination with 5-fluorodeoxyuridine in A431 human epidermoid cancer cells. Anticancer Drugs. 2002 Mar; 13(3):259-70. View in: PubMed

The role of retinoid X receptor messenger RNA expression in curatively resected non-small cell lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2002 Feb; 8(2):438-43. View in: PubMed

Low HER2/neu gene expression is associated with pathological response to concurrent paclitaxel and radiation therapy in locally advanced breast cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Feb 01; 52(2):397-405. View in: PubMed

Quantitative adenomatous polyposis coli promoter methylation analysis in tumor tissue, serum, and plasma DNA of patients with lung cancer. Cancer Res. 2002 Jan 15; 62(2):371-5. View in: PubMed

Relative gene expression in normal and tumor tissue by quantitative RT-PCR. Methods Mol Biol. 2002; 191:83-98. View in: PubMed

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