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Jose Costa MD, FACP

Professor of Pathology and of Medicine (Medical Oncology); Director, Translational Diagnostics; Director, Musculoskeletal Tumor Program

Research Interests

Oncology; Carcinogenesis; Tumor development and progression; Advanced diagnostics; Molecular diagnostics; Diagnosed genetic alterations in tumors; Cancer risk detection by mutational load distribution analysis


Research Summary

I am interested in understanding the forces driving tumor formation and tumor progression. Using clues from clinical observation, experimental models and in silico simulations, I formulate hypotheses that can then be tested either in the laboratory or in the clinic. For example, the theory that carcinogenesis is a micro-evolutionary process best described by metapopulation dynamics provides a framework for understanding the origins of tumor heterogeneity and explains the reason for the long term failures of some therapies. It also demonstrates how intermediate disturbance can favor the emergence and progression of tumors without significant increase in mutational rate. Theory also suggests that inhibiting the so-called capacitors of evolution may be a useful intervention to increase the therapeutic effect of some of the anticancer agents used in the clinic.


Selected Publications

  • Costa, J., Gonzalez-Garcia, I., and Sole, R. (2006). Spatial Dynamics in Cancer, in Complex Systems Science in Biomedicine (Deisboeck, T.S., and Kresh, J.Y.), Chapter 6.2, pp. 557-572.
  • Lage, J.M., et al. (2003). Whole genome analysis of genetic alterations in small DNA samples using hyperbranched strand displacement amplification and array-CGH. Genome Res. 13:294-307.
  • Tallini G, Ghossein RA, Emanuel J, Gill J, Kinder B, Dimich AB, Costa J, Robbins R, Burrow GN, Rosai J. (1998) Detection of thyroglobulin, thyroid peroxidase, and RET/PTC1 mRNA transcripts in the peripheral blood of patients with thyroid disease. Journal of Clinical Pathology, Vol 16(3): 1158-1166.
  • Dillon DA, Howe CL, Bosari S, Costa J. (1998) The molecular biology of breast cancer: Accelerating clinical applications. Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis. 9(2): 125-140.
  • Bautista D, Obrador A, Moreno V, Cabeza E, Canet R, Benito E, Bosch X, Costa JC. (1997) Ki-ras mutation modifies the protective effect of dietary monounsaturated fat and calcium on sporadic colorectal cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention 6: 57-61.
  • Pinto MM, Emanuel JR, Chaturvedi V, Costa JC. (1997) Ki-ras mutations and the carcinoembryonic antigen level in fine needle aspirates of the pancreas. Acta Cytologica, 41 (2): 427-434.
  • Fazeli A, Steen RG, Dickinson SL, Bautista D, Dietrich WF, Bronson RT, Bresalier RS, Lander Es, Costa JC, Weinberg RA. (1997) p53, apoptosis and colon cancer, PNAS.
  • Guillou L, Coindre J.M, Bonichon F, Biu NB, Terrier P, Collin F, Vilain M.O, Mandard A.M, ld Doussal V, Leroux A, Jacquemier J, Duplay H, Sastre X, Costa J.C. (1997) A comparative study of the NCI and FNCLLL grading systems in a population of 410 adult patients with a soft tissue sarcoma. J Clinical Oncology 15: 350-362.

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