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Sean Pitroda

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentRadiation & Cellular Oncology
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    Dr. Sean Pitroda investigates tumor mechanisms that restrict the potential curability of patients with limited metastatic disease following localized therapies, such as surgery or ablative radiotherapy. Dr. Pitroda's research utilizes integrative genome-wide molecular analyses of clinical metastases, molecular biology, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, animal models, immune analysis, and statistical modeling towards translational research goals. Recently, through analysis of independent clinical cohorts of colorectal cancer patients who underwent surgical resection of limited de novo liver metastases, he discovered a biological basis for curable metastasis (Pitroda SP et al, Nature Communications 2018). Specifically, patients with metastases exhibiting robust adaptive immune activation experienced a 10-year survival of ~95% following surgical resection. Building upon this finding, Dr. Pitroda's laboratory is characterizing tumor and host determinants of immune evasion. Studies employing prospectively collected patient tissue and blood specimens in parallel with tumor immunology murine models are expected to corroborate his hypotheses. In this way, his findings will shed light on strategies to augment antitumor immune function. Dr. Pitroda anticipates these findings will ultimately have important implications in the selection of local therapy for those patients with potentially curable metastatic disease from those whose few metastases are a part of a large cascade of widespread disease, thereby changing the paradigm for the treatment of metastatic cancers.


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, ILB.S.06/2006Biomedical Engineering
    The University of Chicago, Chicago, ILM.D.06/2011Medicine
    The University of Chicago, Chicago, ILInternship06/2012Internal Medicine
    The University of Chicago, Chicago, ILResidency06/2016Radiation Oncology
    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY09/2015Spinal Radiosurgery
    Chicago Proton Center, Warrenville, IL10/2015Proton Radiotherapy
    Collapse awards and honors
    2018 - 2018Best of ASTRO Basic/Translational Science Award for Junior Investigator in Radiation&Cancer Biology, American Society for Radiation Oncology
    2016 - 2016Distinguished Biomedical Engineering Alumni Award, Illinois Institute of Technology
    2011 - 2011Franklin McLean Medical Student Research Award, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago
    2011 - 2011Senior Research Award, Dept. of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago
    2010 - 2012Calvin Fentress Research Fellowship, University of Chicago
    2007 - 2007NIH Summer Research Fellowship, University of Chicago
    2006 - 2006Summa Cum Laude, Illinois Institute of Technology
    2005 - 2006Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship, University of Chicago
    2005 - 2006Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society Winkler Scholarship, Illinois Institute of Technology
    2002 - 2006Heald Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship, Illinois Institute of Technology

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Yasumizu Y, Rajabi H, Jin C, Hata T, Pitroda S, Long MD, Hagiwara M, Li W, Hu Q, Liu S, Yamashita N, Fushimi A, Kui L, Samur M, Yamamoto M, Zhang Y, Zhang N, Hong D, Maeda T, Kosaka T, Wong KK, Oya M, Kufe D. MUC1-C regulates lineage plasticity driving progression to neuroendocrine prostate cancer. Nat Commun. 2020 Jan 17; 11(1):338. PMID: 31953400.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Redler G, Stevens T, Cammin J, Malin M, Green O, Mutic S, Pitroda S, Aydogan B. Dosimetric Feasibility of Utilizing the ViewRay Magnetic Resonance Guided Linac System for Image-guided Spine Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. Cureus. 2019 Dec 12; 11(12):e6364. PMID: 31938646.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Arina A, Beckett M, Fernandez C, Zheng W, Pitroda S, Chmura SJ, Luke JJ, Forde M, Hou Y, Burnette B, Mauceri H, Lowy I, Sims T, Khodarev N, Fu YX, Weichselbaum RR. Tumor-reprogrammed resident T cells resist radiation to control tumors. Nat Commun. 2019 09 02; 10(1):3959. PMID: 31477729.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Pitroda SP, Weichselbaum RR. Integrated molecular and clinical staging defines the spectrum of metastatic cancer. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2019 09; 16(9):581-588. PMID: 31092903.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Pitroda SP, Chmura SJ, Weichselbaum RR. Integration of radiotherapy and immunotherapy for treatment of oligometastases. Lancet Oncol. 2019 Aug; 20(8):e434-e442. PMID: 31364595.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Foster CC, Pitroda SP, Weichselbaum RR. Beyond Palliation: The Rationale for Metastasis-Directed Therapy for Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. J Thorac Oncol. 2019 Sep; 14(9):1510-1512. PMID: 31272814.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Ni L, Koshy M, Connell P, Pitroda S, Golden DW, Al-Hallaq H, Hubert G, Kauffman G, McCall A, Malik R. Heart V5 predicts cardiac events in unresectable lung cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation. J Thorac Dis. 2019 Jun; 11(6):2229-2239. PMID: 31372260.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Foster CC, Pitroda SP, Weichselbaum RR. Staging the Metastatic Spectrum Through Integration of Clinical and Molecular Features. J Clin Oncol. 2019 May 20; 37(15):1270-1276. PMID: 30939093.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Oshima G, Poli EC, Bolt MJ, Chlenski A, Forde M, Jutzy JMS, Biyani N, Posner MC, Pitroda SP, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. DNA Methylation Controls Metastasis-Suppressive 14q32-Encoded miRNAs. Cancer Res. 2019 02 01; 79(3):650-662. PMID: 30538122.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Foster CC, Weichselbaum RR, Pitroda SP. Oligometastatic prostate cancer: Reality or figment of imagination? Cancer. 2019 02 01; 125(3):340-352. PMID: 30521067.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Pitroda SP, Khodarev NN, Huang L, Uppal A, Wightman SC, Ganai S, Joseph N, Pitt J, Brown M, Forde M, Mangold K, Xue L, Weber C, Segal JP, Kadri S, Stack ME, Khan S, Paty P, Kaul K, Andrade J, White KP, Talamonti M, Posner MC, Hellman S, Weichselbaum RR. Author Correction: Integrated molecular subtyping defines a curable oligometastatic state in colorectal liver metastasis. Nat Commun. 2018 11 13; 9(1):4827. PMID: 30425251.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Leng J, Akthar AS, Szmulewitz RZ, O'Donnell PH, Sweis RF, Pitroda SP, Smith N, Steinberg GD, Liauw SL. Safety and Efficacy of Hypofractionated Radiotherapy With Capecitabine in Elderly Patients With Urothelial Carcinoma. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2019 Feb; 17(1):e12-e18. PMID: 30392939.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Pitroda SP, Khodarev NN, Huang L, Uppal A, Wightman SC, Ganai S, Joseph N, Pitt J, Brown M, Forde M, Mangold K, Xue L, Weber C, Segal JP, Kadri S, Stack ME, Khan S, Paty P, Kaul K, Andrade J, White KP, Talamonti M, Posner MC, Hellman S, Weichselbaum RR. Integrated molecular subtyping defines a curable oligometastatic state in colorectal liver metastasis. Nat Commun. 2018 05 04; 9(1):1793. PMID: 29728604.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Pitroda SP, Stack ME, Liu GF, Song SS, Chen L, Liang H, Parekh AD, Huang X, Roach P, Posner MC, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. JAK2 Inhibitor SAR302503 Abrogates PD-L1 Expression and Targets Therapy-Resistant Non-small Cell Lung Cancers. Mol Cancer Ther. 2018 04; 17(4):732-739. PMID: 29467274.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Luke JJ, Lemons JM, Karrison TG, Pitroda SP, Melotek JM, Zha Y, Al-Hallaq HA, Arina A, Khodarev NN, Janisch L, Chang P, Patel JD, Fleming GF, Moroney J, Sharma MR, White JR, Ratain MJ, Gajewski TF, Weichselbaum RR, Chmura SJ. Safety and Clinical Activity of Pembrolizumab and Multisite Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors. J Clin Oncol. 2018 06 01; 36(16):1611-1618. PMID: 29437535.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Pitroda SP, Bao R, Andrade J, Weichselbaum RR, Connell PP. Low Recombination Proficiency Score (RPS) Predicts Heightened Sensitivity to DNA-Damaging Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Aug 01; 23(15):4493-4500. PMID: 28341751.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Meng Y, Mauceri HJ, Khodarev NN, Darga TE, Pitroda SP, Beckett MA, Kufe DW, Weichselbaum RR. Ad.Egr-TNF and Local Ionizing Radiation Suppress Metastases by Interferon-ß-Dependent Activation of Antigen-specific CD8+ T Cells. Mol Ther. 2010 May; 18(5):912-920. PMID: 28178556.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Oshima G, Stack ME, Wightman SC, Bryan D, Poli E, Xue L, Skowron KB, Uppal A, Pitroda SP, Huang X, Posner MC, Hellman S, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. Advanced Animal Model of Colorectal Metastasis in Liver: Imaging Techniques and Properties of Metastatic Clones. J Vis Exp. 2016 11 30; (117). PMID: 27929457.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Skowron KB, Pitroda SP, Namm JP, Balogun O, Beckett MA, Zenner ML, Fayanju O, Huang X, Fernandez C, Zheng W, Qiao G, Chin R, Kron SJ, Khodarev NN, Posner MC, Steinberg GD, Weichselbaum RR. Basal Tumor Cell Isolation and Patient-Derived Xenograft Engraftment Identify High-Risk Clinical Bladder Cancers. Sci Rep. 2016 10 24; 6:35854. PMID: 27775025.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Rajabi H, Tagde A, Alam M, Bouillez A, Pitroda S, Suzuki Y, Kufe D. DNA methylation by DNMT1 and DNMT3b methyltransferases is driven by the MUC1-C oncoprotein in human carcinoma cells. Oncogene. 2016 12 15; 35(50):6439-6445. PMID: 27212035.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Wong AC, Watson SP, Pitroda SP, Son CH, Das LC, Stack ME, Uppal A, Oshima G, Khodarev NN, Salama JK, Weichselbaum RR, Chmura SJ. Clinical and molecular markers of long-term survival after oligometastasis-directed stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Cancer. 2016 07 15; 122(14):2242-50. PMID: 27206146.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Ranoa DR, Parekh AD, Pitroda SP, Huang X, Darga T, Wong AC, Huang L, Andrade J, Staley JP, Satoh T, Akira S, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. Cancer therapies activate RIG-I-like receptor pathway through endogenous non-coding RNAs. Oncotarget. 2016 May 03; 7(18):26496-515. PMID: 27034163.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Bouillez A, Rajabi H, Pitroda S, Jin C, Alam M, Kharbanda A, Tagde A, Wong KK, Kufe D. Inhibition of MUC1-C Suppresses MYC Expression and Attenuates Malignant Growth in KRAS Mutant Lung Adenocarcinomas. Cancer Res. 2016 Mar 15; 76(6):1538-48. PMID: 26833129.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Oshima G, Wightman SC, Uppal A, Stack ME, Pitroda SP, Oskvarek JJ, Huang X, Posner MC, Hellman S, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. Imaging of tumor clones with differential liver colonization. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 22; 5:10946. PMID: 26094901.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Wightman SC, Uppal A, Pitroda SP, Ganai S, Burnette B, Stack M, Oshima G, Khan S, Huang X, Posner MC, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. Oncogenic CXCL10 signalling drives metastasis development and poor clinical outcome. Br J Cancer. 2015 Jul 14; 113(2):327-35. PMID: 26042934.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Khodarev NN, Pitroda SP, Weichselbaum RR. microRNAs and oligometastasis. Aging (Albany NY). 2015 Mar; 7(3):146-7. PMID: 25868522.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Uppal A, Wightman SC, Mallon S, Oshima G, Pitroda SP, Zhang Q, Huang X, Darga TE, Huang L, Andrade J, Liu H, Ferguson MK, Greene GL, Posner MC, Hellman S, Khodarev NN, Weichselbaum RR. 14q32-encoded microRNAs mediate an oligometastatic phenotype. Oncotarget. 2015 Feb 28; 6(6):3540-52. PMID: 25686838.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Takahashi H, Jin C, Rajabi H, Pitroda S, Alam M, Ahmad R, Raina D, Hasegawa M, Suzuki Y, Tagde A, Bronson RT, Weichselbaum R, Kufe D. MUC1-C activates the TAK1 inflammatory pathway in colon cancer. Oncogene. 2015 Oct 01; 34(40):5187-97. PMID: 25659581.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Pitroda SP, Pashtan IM, Logan HL, Budke B, Darga TE, Weichselbaum RR, Connell PP. DNA repair pathway gene expression score correlates with repair proficiency and tumor sensitivity to chemotherapy. Sci Transl Med. 2014 Mar 26; 6(229):229ra42. PMID: 24670686.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Widau RC, Parekh AD, Ranck MC, Golden DW, Kumar KA, Sood RF, Pitroda SP, Liao Z, Huang X, Darga TE, Xu D, Huang L, Andrade J, Roizman B, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. RIG-I-like receptor LGP2 protects tumor cells from ionizing radiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jan 28; 111(4):E484-91. PMID: 24434553.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Pitroda SP, Zhou T, Sweis RF, Filippo M, Labay E, Beckett MA, Mauceri HJ, Liang H, Darga TE, Perakis S, Khan SA, Sutton HG, Zhang W, Khodarev NN, Garcia JG, Weichselbaum RR. Tumor endothelial inflammation predicts clinical outcome in diverse human cancers. PLoS One. 2012; 7(10):e46104. PMID: 23056240.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Jin C, Rajabi H, Pitroda S, Li A, Kharbanda A, Weichselbaum R, Kufe D. Cooperative interaction between the MUC1-C oncoprotein and the Rab31 GTPase in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells. PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e39432. PMID: 22792175.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Liauw SL, Pitroda SP, Eggener SE, Stadler WM, Pelizzari CA, Vannier MW, Oto A. Evaluation of the prostate bed for local recurrence after radical prostatectomy using endorectal magnetic resonance imaging. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Feb 01; 85(2):378-84. PMID: 22717242.
      View in: PubMed
    34. MacDermed DM, Khodarev NN, Pitroda SP, Edwards DC, Pelizzari CA, Huang L, Kufe DW, Weichselbaum RR. MUC1-associated proliferation signature predicts outcomes in lung adenocarcinoma patients. BMC Med Genomics. 2010 May 06; 3:16. PMID: 20459602.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Meng Y, Mauceri HJ, Khodarev NN, Darga TE, Pitroda SP, Beckett MA, Kufe DW, Weichselbaum RR. Ad.Egr-TNF and local ionizing radiation suppress metastases by interferon-beta-dependent activation of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Mol Ther. 2010 May; 18(5):912-20. PMID: 20197756.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Khodarev N, Ahmad R, Rajabi H, Pitroda S, Kufe T, McClary C, Joshi MD, MacDermed D, Weichselbaum R, Kufe D. Cooperativity of the MUC1 oncoprotein and STAT1 pathway in poor prognosis human breast cancer. Oncogene. 2010 Feb 11; 29(6):920-9. PMID: 19915608.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Pitroda SP, Wakim BT, Sood RF, Beveridge MG, Beckett MA, MacDermed DM, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. STAT1-dependent expression of energy metabolic pathways links tumour growth and radioresistance to the Warburg effect. BMC Med. 2009 Nov 05; 7:68. PMID: 19891767.
      View in: PubMed
    38. Khodarev NN, Roach P, Pitroda SP, Golden DW, Bhayani M, Shao MY, Darga TE, Beveridge MG, Sood RF, Sutton HG, Beckett MA, Mauceri HJ, Posner MC, Weichselbaum RR. STAT1 pathway mediates amplification of metastatic potential and resistance to therapy. PLoS One. 2009 Jun 08; 4(6):e5821. PMID: 19503789.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Efimova EV, Liang H, Pitroda SP, Labay E, Darga TE, Levina V, Lokshin A, Roizman B, Weichselbaum RR, Khodarev NN. Radioresistance of Stat1 over-expressing tumour cells is associated with suppressed apoptotic response to cytotoxic agents and increased IL6-IL8 signalling. Int J Radiat Biol. 2009 May; 85(5):421-31. PMID: 19437244.
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    40. Khodarev NN, Pitroda SP, Beckett MA, MacDermed DM, Huang L, Kufe DW, Weichselbaum RR. MUC1-induced transcriptional programs associated with tumorigenesis predict outcome in breast and lung cancer. Cancer Res. 2009 Apr 01; 69(7):2833-7. PMID: 19318547.
      View in: PubMed
    41. Pitroda SP, Khodarev NN, Beckett MA, Kufe DW, Weichselbaum RR. MUC1-induced alterations in a lipid metabolic gene network predict response of human breast cancers to tamoxifen treatment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Apr 07; 106(14):5837-41. PMID: 19289846.
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    42. Mauceri HJ, Beckett MA, Liang H, Sutton HG, Pitroda S, Galka E, Efimova E, Darga T, Khodarev NN, King CR, Posner MC, Hellman S, Kufe DW, Weichselbaum RR. Translational strategies exploiting TNF-alpha that sensitize tumors to radiation therapy. Cancer Gene Ther. 2009 Apr; 16(4):373-81. PMID: 18974777.
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    43. Pitroda S, Angstadt M, McCloskey MS, Coccaro EF, Phan KL. Emotional experience modulates brain activity during fixation periods between tasks. Neurosci Lett. 2008 Oct 03; 443(2):72-6. PMID: 18674589.
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