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RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences Laboratory for Cancer Genomics

Team Leader: Hidewaki Nakagawa (M.D., Ph.D)

Research Summary

Hidewaki  Nakagawa(M.D., Ph.D)

Cancer is essentially a “disease of the genome” that develops and evolves with the accumulation of a variety of mutations in its genetically unstable background. Some somatic mutations of driver genes have been successfully targeted for cancer treatment. Now, genotype-based personalized cancer therapy is in the clinical stage. Understanding of, and attention to, the underlying genetic diversity in cancer is, therefore, likely to increase the success of new cancer treatment modalities. Recent explosive advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics enable us to perform systematic, genome-wide identification of all somatic abnormalities by whole genome sequencing (WGS) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). Furthermore, cancer also has been proven to be a “immune disease” with a variety of features of immune reaction, and immune therapies targeting immune checkpoints and neo-antigens derived from somatically mutated proteins are also treatment realities. To explore whole genomic and immuno-genomic alterations and their diversity in human cancer, we have been utilizing WGS and RNA-seq analysis for cancer. These approaches, combined with statistical methods and recent single-cell technologies, can clarify the underlying carcinogenesis and cancer immunology and achieve a molecular sub-classification of cancer, which will facilitate discovery of biomarkers and personalized cancer medicine.

Main Research Fields

  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy

Related Research Fields

  • Informatics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology


  • Cancer genomics
  • Precision Medicine
  • Next generation sequencer
  • Cancer immunogenomics

Selected Publications

  • 1. Okawa Y, Iwasaki Y, Johnson TA, Ebata N, Inai C, Endo M, Maejima K, Sasagawa S, Fujita M, Matsuda K, Murakami Y, Nakamura T, Hirano S, Momozawa Y and Nakagawa H.:
    "Hereditary cancer variants and homologous recombination deficiency in biliary tract cancers."
    J Hepatol. 78(2):333-342 (2023)
  • 2. Fujita M, Chen MM, Siwak DR, Sasagawa S, Arihiro M, Arihiro K, Ono A, Miura R, Osawa-Tatsuguchi A, Maejima K, Aikata H, Ueno M, Hayami S, Yamaue H, Chayama K, Lu Y, Liang H, Nishizuka SS, and Nakagawa H.:
    "Proteogenomic characterization of virus-associated liver cancers reveals potential subtypes and therapeutic targets."
    Nat Commun. 13(1):6481 (2022)
  • 3. Sasagawa S, Kato H, Nagaoka K, Sun C, Imano M, Sato T, Johnson TA, Fujita M, Maejima K, Okawa Y, Kakimi K, Yasuda T, and Nakagawa H.:
    "Immuno-genomic profiling of biopsy specimens predicts neoadjuvant chemotherapy response in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma."
    Cell Rep Med. 3(8):100705 (2022)
  • 4. The ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes Consortium.:
    "Pan-cancer analysis of whole genomes."
    Nature 578(7793):82-93 (2020)
  • 5. Yuan Y, Ju YS, Kim Y, Li J, Wang Y, Yang Y, Martincorena I, Creighton CJ, Weinstein JN, Xu Y, Kim H, Nakagawa H, Park K, Campbell PJ, Liang H, on behalf of the PCAWG Mitochondrial Genome Working Group and The PCAWG Network.:
    "Comprehensive molecular characterization of mitochondrial genomes in human cancers."
    Nat Genet. 52(3):342-352 (2020)
  • 6. Fujimoto A, Fujita M, Maejima K, Hasegawa T, Nakano K, Oku-Sasaki A, Wong J, Shiraishi Y, Miyano S, Imoto S, Akagi T, and Nakagawa H.:
    "Comprehensive analysis of indels in whole-genome microsatellite regions and microsatellite instability across 21 cancer types."
    Genome Res. 30: 334-346 (2020)
  • 7. Fujita M, Yamaguchi R, Hasegawa T, Shimada S, Arihiro K, Hayashi S, Maejima K, Nakano K, Fujimoto A, Ono A, Aikata H, Ueno M, Hayami S, Tanaka H, Miyano S, Yamaue H, Chayama K, Kakimi K, Tanaka S, Imoto S, and Nakagawa H.:
    "Classification of primary liver cancer with immunosuppression mechanisms and correlation with genomic alterations."
    EBioMed. 53: 102659 (2020)
  • 8. Takata R, Takahashi A, Fujita M, Momozawa Y, Saunders EJ, Yamada H, Maejima K, Nakano K, Yamaji T, Sawada N, Iwasaki M, Tsugane S, Sasaki M, Shimizu A, Tanno K, Minegishi N, Suzuki K, Matsuda K, Kubo K, Inazawa J, Egawa S, Haiman CA, Ogawa O, Obara W, Kamatani Y, Akamatsu S, and Nakagawa H.:
    "12 new susceptibility loci for prostate cancer identified by genome-wide association study in Japanese population."
    Nat Commun. 10:4422 (2019)
  • 9. Wardell CP, Fujita M, Yamada T, Simbolo M, Fassan M, Karlic R, Polak P, Kim J, Hatanaka Y, Maejima K, Lawlor RT, Nakanishi Y, Mitsuhashi T, Fujimoto A, Furuta M, Ruzzenente A, Conci S, Oosawa A, Sasaki-Oku A, Nakano K, Tanaka H, Yamamoto Y, Kubo M, Kawakami Y, Aikata H, Ueno M, Hayami S, Gotoh K, Ariizumi S, Yamamoto M, Yamaue H, Chayama K, Miyano S, Getz G, Scarpa A, Hirano S, Nakamura T, and Nakagawa H.:
    "Genomic characterization of biliary tract cancers identifies their driver genes and predisposing mutations."
    J Hepatol 68:959-969 (2018)
  • 10. Fujimoto A, Furuta M, Totoki Y, Tsunoda T, Kato M, Shiraishi Y, Tanaka H, Taniguchi H, Kawakami Y, Ueno M, Gotoh K, Ariizumi S, Wardell CP, Hayami S, Nakamura T, Aikata H, Arihiro K, Boroevich KA, Abe T, Nakano N, Maejima K, Sasaki-Oku A, Ohsawa A, Shibuya T, Nakamura H, Hama N, Hosoda F, Arai Y, Ohashi S, Urushidate T, Nagae G, Yamamoto S, Ueda H, Tatsuno K, Ojima H, Hiraoka N, Okusaka T, Kubo M, Marubashi S, Yamada T, Hirano S, Yamamoto M, Ohdan H, Shimada K, Ishikawa O, Yamaue H, Chayama K, Miyano S, Aburatani H, Shibata T, and Nakagawa H.:
    "Whole genome mutational landscape and characterization of non-coding and structural mutations in liver cancer."
    Nat Genet 48: 500-509 (2016)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Further Information

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Hidewaki Nakagawa
Team Leader

Core members

Todd Andrew Johnson
Research Scientist
Shota Sasagawa
Research Scientist
Kazuhiro Maejima
Technical Staff I
Ayako Oosawa
Technical Staff II
Ryosuke Jikuya
Student Trainee
Yuki Kanazashi
Student Trainee

Contact Information

East Research Bld. 4F,
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa,
230-0045, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-9288
Fax: +81-(0)45-503-9294
Email: hidewaki [at] riken.jp