David Y. Takeda

David Y. Takeda
About David Y. Takeda

Targeting TMPRSS2-ERG in Prostate Cancer

Approximately half of all prostate cancers carry an abnormal genetic rearrangement that juxtaposes the gene TMPRSS2 against the gene ERG, resulting in the abnormal gene fusion TMPRSS2-ERG, which results in erroneous pro-cancer activity of the ERG protein. TMPRSS2-ERG represents an attractive therapeutic target in prostate cancer and Dr. David Takeda proposes to inhibit its activity using small molecule inhibitors and re-purposed FDA-approved drugs.

Since the precise role of this gene fusion in promoting carcinogenesis remains unclear, Dr. Takeda proposes developing and using a gene expression signature that is turned on only in prostate cancer cells carrying the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion. This gene expression signature will serve as a marker of the aberrant cancer-specific ERG activity and will be useful for evaluating appropriate inhibitors that target this activity.

If successful, this research will lead to the development of the first high-throughput gene expression assay to measure the activity of ERG, and its application to identify chemical inhibitors of ERG. This will potentially represent a significant step towards TMRPSS2-ERG targeted therapy in prostate cancer.


The 2012 Joyce and Larry Stupski – PCF Young Investigator Award

David Y. Takeda, MD, PhD

Dana Farber Cancer Institute


Todd Golub, MD, Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, William Hahn, MD, PhD