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Outline of Research

  Our areas of surgical research are wide-ranging, and we have gone through many changes in regard to the details of the research carried out in the department, in order to keep pace with the dramatic progress being made in the basic science areas of cellular and molecular biology. 

  We have always aimed to engage in translational research in the fields of basic and clinical medicine, focused on research into surgical oncology. To this end, we have engaged in basic trials of combined stimuli using various cytokines, and the combined use of solid-phase anti-CD3 antibodies and solid-phase fibronectin, with the aim of finding clinical applications for the use of the activated lymphocytes, developed by surgeons at NIH in the USA, in adoptive immunotherapy. In addition to this, more recently many tumor antigens have been identified by their peptide level, and we have been engaged in the analysis of specific immune response to CEA, occurring in digestive organ cancers, with the aim of developing a new cancer vaccine treatment method using tumor antigens.  In the field of chemotherapy, as part of our commitment to “Individual cancer treatment for each patient”, we now routinely carry out anti-cancer drug receptivity tests in order to ensure a chemotherapy course that is applicable to each individual case. We are currently preparing a research project into DNA macroarrays and DNA chips, with the aim of analyzing a wide range of DNA that relates to anti-cancer drug receptivity. In addition, we are planning to develop a new anti-cancer drug receptivity trial, studied from the perspective of genetic expression.

  The massive volumes of data we have obtained, from basic trials through to clinical results, in the fields of activated lymphocyte treatment and anti-cancer drug receptivity trials, have been praised by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and we have been recognized for our highly advanced medical technology. In particular, Wakayama Medical University was the first institution to be approved for clinical trials in anti-cancer drug receptivity, and as a result our protocols have become the template for other facilities that have subsequently been approved, including Keio University and Osaka Medical College.

  In particular, we have seen a significant rise in pancreatic conditions, and now engage not only in extended surgeries such as joint portal vein resections in regard to pancreatic cancers, but also in reduction surgeries in cases of pancreatic cellular conditions with borderline malignancy, among other operations, in line with our patients’ conditions. In cases where major blood vessels such as the inferior vena cava have been infiltrated, we are proactive in implementing complex surgical procedures such as the joining and resection of other organs and blood vessels under extracorporeal circulation.

  In the future, we intend to engage in as many as possible clinical trials (randomized controlled trails, or RCT) as possible in relation to surgical therapies.