Jeffrey N Myers M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.

Head & Neck Surgery
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 1445, FCT10.6028
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 745-2667
(713) 404-3602 pager

The mission of the Myers lab is to alleviate the suffering due to head and neck cancers through research into the mechanisms of disease progression and translational studies of investigational therapeutics in head and neck tumor models.

Our group has developed orthotopic nude mouse models of i) oral tongue cancer, ii) thyroid cancer, and iii) salivary gland cancer, and with these models we have evaluated the efficacy and in vivo mechanisms of action of investigational agents including i) natural products, ii) conventional chemotherapy and iii) molecularly targeted agents.

We are currently using molecular profiling of cell lines sensitive or resistant to molecular targeted agents to determine i) biomarker profiles predictive of response and/or outcome; ii) signaling pathways that might be dys-regulated in resistant cell lines.  The molecular profiling strategies that we are using include i) cDNA microarray, ii) miRNA arrays, iii) reverse phase lysate arrays and iv) cytokine and angiogenic factor profiling.

Investigation using these in vivo and in vitro models have also lead to exciting work examining the role of p53 mutation in head and neck squamous cell cancer, and cutting edge research in the field of Metabolomics.  We are establishing the role of metabolism in tumorgenicity and drug resistance as well as identifying metabolic targets to improve treatment for patients with head and neck cancer. 

We are also working with collaborators from Rice University on the optimization of drug delivery through nanovector coupling of conventional chemotherapeutic agents as well as molecularly targeted agents to i) gold nanoparticles, ii) single walled carbon nanotubes, and iii) gold nanorods.

In order to further understand the mechanisms of disease progression we are analyzing genomic and metabolomic changes present in head and neck cancer cell lines and primary tumor samples. This work includes a large-scale comprehensive genomic analysis of primary tongue tumor samples.

It is anticipated that through the use of these complementary approaches we will make incremental progress in identifying new treatments that will improve the survival and quality of life of patients with cancers of the head and neck region.

Recent Publications

  1. Wang Z, Chakravarty G, Kim S, Yazici YD, Younes MN, Jasser SA, Santillan AA, Bucana CD, El-Naggar AK, Myers JN. Growth-inhibitory effects of human anti-insulin-like growth factor-I receptor antibody (A12) in an orthotopic nude mouse model of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res 2006;12:4755-65.
  2. Younes MN, Park YW, Yazici YD, Gu M, Santillan AA, Nong X, Kim S, Jasser SA, El-Naggar AK, Myers JN. Concomitant inhibition of epidermal growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases reduces growth and metastasis of human salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma in an orthotopic nude mouse model. Mol Cancer Ther 2006;5:2696-705.
  3. Prichard CN, Kim S, Yazici YD, Doan DD, Jasser SA, Mandal M, Myers JN. Concurrent cetuximab and bevacizumab therapy in a murine orthotopic model of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Laryngoscope 2006;117:674-9.
  4. Kim S, Yazici YD, Calzada G, Wang ZY, Younes MN, Jasser SA, El-Naggar AK, Myers JN. Sorafenib inhibits the angiogenesis and growth of orthotopic anaplastic thyroid carcinoma xenografts in nude mice. Mol Cancer Ther 2007;6:1785-92.
  5. Gomez-Rivera F, Santillian-Gomez AA, Younes MN, Kim S, Fooshee D, Zhao M, Jasser SA, Myers JN. The Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor, AZD2171, Inhibits Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor Signaling and Growth of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer in an Orothotopic Nude Mouse Model. Clin Cancer Res 2007;13:4519-27.
  6. Hleb EY, Hafner JH, Myers JN, Hanna EY, Rostro BC, Zhdanok SA, Lapotko DO.  LANTCET: elimination of solid tumor cells with photothermal bubbles generated around clusters of gold nanoparticles.  Nanomed. 2008 Oct;3(5):647-67.
  7. Sano D, Choi S, Milas ZL, Zhou G, Galer CE, Su YW, Gule M, Zhao M, Zhu Z, Myers JN. The effect of combination anti-endothelial growth factor receptor and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 targeted therapy on lymph node metastasis: a study in an orthotopic nude mouse model of squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue.  Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 135(4):411-20, 4/2009
  8. Sano D, Myers JN. Xenograft Models of Head and Neck Cancers. Head Neck Oncol 1(1):32, 8/2009
  9. Kupferman ME, Jiffar T, El-Naggar A, Yilmaz T, Zhou G, Xie T, Feng L, Wang J, Holsinger FC, Yu D, Myers JN.  TrkB induces EMT and has a key role in invasion of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oncogene. 2010 Apr 8;29(14):2047-59. Epub 2010 Jan 18.
  10. Byers LA, Holsinger FC, Kies MS, William WN, El-Naggar AK, Lee JJ, Hu J, Lopez A, Tran HT, Yan S, Du Z, Ang KK, Glisson BS, Raso MG, Wistuba II, Myers JN, Hong WK, Papadimitrakopoulou V, Lippman SM, Heymach JV. Serum signature of hypoxia-regulated factors is associated with progression after induction therapy in head and neck squamous cell cancer. Mol Cancer Ther. 2010 Jun;9(6):1755-63. Epub 2010 Jun 8.
  11. Sano D, Fooshee DR, Zhao M, Andrews GA, Frederick MJ, Galer C, Milas ZL, Morrow PK, Myers JN.  Targeted molecular therapy of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor vandetanib in a mouse model.  Head Neck. 2010 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]
  12. Berlin JM, Leonard AD, Pham TT, Sano D, Marcano DC, Yan S, Fiorentino S, Milas ZL, Kosynkin DV, Price BK, Lucente-Schultz RM, Wen X, Raso MG, Craig SL, Tran HT, Myers JN, Tour JM. Effective drug delivery, in vitro and in vivo, by carbon-based nanovectors noncovalently loaded with unmodified Paclitaxel. ACS Nano. 2010 Aug 24;4(8):4621-36.
  13. Galer CE, Corey CL, Wang Z, Younes MN, Gomez-Rivera F, Jasser SA, Ludwig DL, El-Naggar AK, Weber RS, Myers JN. Dual inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor and insulin-like growth factor receptor I: Reduction of angiogenesis and tumor growth in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Head Neck. 2010 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]