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Julie G. Izzo, M.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology - Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Research Interests

The research in my laboratory is direct at identifying molecular drivers of cancer progression that can be used to construct stratified models defining cancer risk, response to primary or secondary intervention and prognostic assessment.

Also a strong interest is discovering nodal points in key biological pathways, driving the tumorigenesis process, that can lead to development of molecularly targeted interventional approaches.  Current studies focus on the role of the aberrant activation of embryonic developmental signaling pathways during gastro-intestinal cancer progression in both human (in vitro and tissue-based) and in vivo animal models.


Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1986 University of Nice School of Medicine, Nice, France, MD, Doctor of Medicine

Postgraduate Training

1995-1997 Post-doctoral Fellow, Cellular and Molecular Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Walter N. Hittelman
6/1992-12/1994 Research Fellow, Experimental Therapeutics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, Dr. Joseph R. Bertino
2/1989-6/1990 Fellow, Medical Oncology, Institut Gustave Roussy - University of Paris IX, Villejuif, France
1986-1989 Intern-Resident, Medical Oncology, Nice Hospital-University of Nice, Nice, France

Board Certifications

8/1990 French Board of Medical Oncology
6/1988 French Board of Specialty Family Medicine

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Pan JY, Ajani JA, Gu J, Gong Y, Quin A, Hung M, Wu X, Izzo JG. Association of Aurora-A (STK15) kinase polymorphisms with clinical outcome of esophageal cancer treated with preoperative chemoradiation. Cancer 118(17):4346-53, 9/2012. e-Pub 12/2011. PMID: 22213102.
2. Wang Y, Ding Q, Yen CJ, Xia W, Izzo JG, Lang JY, Li CW, Hsu JL, Miller SA, Wang X, Lee DF, Hsu JM, Huo L, Labaff AM, Liu D, Huang TH, Lai CC, Tsai FJ, Chang WC, Chen CH, Wu TT, Buttar NS, Wang KK, Wu Y, Wang H, Ajani J, Hung MC. The crosstalk of mTOR/S6K1 and Hedgehog pathways. Cancer Cell 21(3):374-87, 3/20/2012. PMCID: PMC3350095.
3. Kountourakis P, Ajani JA, Davila M, Lee JH, Bhutani MS, Izzo JG. Barrett's Esophagus: A Review of Biology and Therapeutic Approaches. Gastrointest Cancer Res 5(2):49-57, 3/2012. PMCID: PMC3369601.
4. Ajani JA, Wang X, Izzo JG, Crane CH, Eng C, Skibber JM, Das P, Rashid A. Molecular Biomarkers Correlate with Disease-Free Survival in Patients with Anal Canal Carcinoma Treated with Chemoradiation. Dig Dis Sci 55(4):1098-105, 4/2010. e-Pub 4/28/2009. PMID: 19399614.
5. Kim SM, Park YY, Park ES, Cho JY, Izzo JG, Zhang D, Kim SB, Lee JH, Bhutani MS, Swisher SG, Wu X, Coombes KR, Maru D, Wang KK, Buttar NS, Ajani JA, Lee JS. Prognostic biomarkers for esophageal adenocarcinoma identified by analysis of tumor transcriptome. PLoS One 5(11):e15074, 2010. e-Pub 11/2010. PMCID: PMC2994829.
6. Xing J, Ajani JA, Chen M, Izzo J, Lin J, Chen Z, Gu J, Wu X. Constitutive short telomere length of chromosome 17p and 12q but not 11q and 2p is associated with an increased risk for esophageal cancer. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa) 2(5):459-65, 5/2009. e-Pub 4/2009. PMCID: PMC2701666.
7. Chen G, Izzo J, Demizu Y, Wang F, Guha S, Wu X, Hung MC, Ajani JA, Huang P. Different redox states in malignant and non-malignant esophageal epithelial cells and differential cytotoxic responses to bile acids and honokiol. Antioxid Redox Signal 11(5):1083-95, 5/2009. PMCID: PMC2842128.
8. Pan J, Lin J, Izzo JG, Liu Y, Xing J, Huang M, Ajani JA, Wu X. Genetic susceptibility to esophageal cancer: the role of the nucleotide excision repair pathway. Carcinogenesis 30(5):785-92, 5/2009. e-Pub 3/2009. PMCID: PMC2675653.
9. Hildebrandt MA, Yang H, Hung MC, Izzo JG, Huang M, Lin J, Ajani JA, Wu X. Genetic Variations in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR Pathway are Associated with Clinical Outcomes in Esophageal Cancer Patients Treated with Chemoradiotherapy. J Clin Oncol 27(6):857-71, 2/20/2009. e-Pub 1/21/2009. PMCID: PMC2738430.
10. Papadimitrakopoulou V, Izzo JG, Liu DD, Myers J, Ceron TL, Lewin J, William WN, Atwell A, Lee JJ, Gillenwater A, El-Naggar A, Wu X, Lippman SM, Hittelman WN, Hong WK. Cyclin D1 Alterations and Cancer Development in a Chemoprevention Trial in laryngeal Premalignancy. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa) 2(1):14-21, 1/2009. PMID: 19139013.
11. Ajani JA, Izzo JG, Lee JS. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance. J Clin Oncol 27(27):162-3, 2009. e-Pub 12/2008. PMID: 19047300.
12. Izzo JG, Wu X, Wu TT, Huang P, Lee JS, Liao Z, Lee JH, Bhutani MS, Hofstetter W, Maru D, Hung MC, Ajani JA. Therapy-induced expression of NF-kappaB portends poor prognosis in patients with localized esophageal cancer undergoing preoperative chemoradiation. Dis Esophagus 22(2):127-32, 2009. e-Pub 11/19/2008. PMID: 19021681.
13. Javeri H, Arora R, Correa AM, Hofstetter WL, Lee JH, Liao Z, McAleer MF, Maru D, Bhutani MS, Swisher SG, Izzo JG, Ajani AJ.. Influence in induction chemotherapy and class of cytotoxic on pathologic response and survival after preoperative chemoradiation in patients with carcinoma of the esophagus. Cancer 113(6):1302-1308, 9/2008. PMID: 18623381.
14. Yang Y, Wislez M, Fujimoto N, Prudkin L, Izzo J, Uno F. A Selective Small Molecule Inhibitor of c-Met, PHA-665752, Reverses Lung Premalignancy Induced by Mutant K-ras. Mol Cancer Ther 7(4):952-960, 2008. PMID: 18413809.
15. Yen, CJ, Izzo, JG, Lee DF, Guha S, Wei Y, Wu TT, Chen CT, Kuo HP, Chou CK, Hus JM, Sun HL, Demars C, Buttar NS, Wang K, Peng H, Ajani J, Hung MC. Bile Acid Exposure Upregulates TSC1/mTOR Pathway in Barrett's Associated Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Cancer Res 68(8):2632-2640, 2008. PMCID: PMC2377413.
16. Sims-Mourtada J, Izzo JG, Ajani J, Chao KS. Sonic Hedgehog promotes multiple drug resistance by regulation of drug transport. Oncogene 26(38):5674-9, 8/2007. e-Pub 3/2007. PMID: 17353904.
17. Patel PR, Mansfield PF, Crane CH, Wu TT, Lee JH, Lynch PM, Morris J, Pisters PW, Feig B, Sunder PK, Izzo J, Ajani JA. Clinical stage after pre-operative chemoradiation is a better predictor of patient outcome than the baseline stage for localized gastric cancer. Cancer 110(5):989-995, 7/2007. PMID: 17531921.
18. Chen YJ, Sims-Mourtada J, Izzo J, Chao KS. Targeting the Hedgehog pathway to mitigate treatment resistance. Cell Cycle 6(15):1826-30, 6/2007. e-Pub 6/2007. PMID: 17671418.
19. Izzo JG, Wu TT, Wu X, Ensor J, Luthra R, Pan J, Correa A, Swisher SG, Chao CK, Hittelman WN, Ajani JA. Cyclin D1 guanine/adenine 870 polymorphism with altered protein expression is associated with genomic instability and aggressive clinical biology of esophageal adenocarcinoma. J Clin Oncol 25(6):698-707, 2/2007. PMID: 17308274.
20. Luthra MG, Ajani JA, Izzo J, Ensor J, Wu TT, Rashid A, Zhang L, Phan A, Fukami N, Luthra R. Expressional downregulation of epidermal differentiation genes at chromosome 1q21 defines molecular subtypes of chemoradiotherapy resistance in esophageal cancer. Clin Cancer Res 13(3):912-919, 2/2007. PMID: 17289885.
21. Izzo JG, Luthra R, Malhortr U, Wu TT, Correa AM, Swisher SG, Hofstetter W, Chao CKS, Hung MC, Ajani JA. Clinical biology of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma after surgery is influenced by nuclear factor-kappa B expression. Cancer, Epidemiology and Biomarkers 6(16), 2007. PMID: 17548685.
22. Izzo J, Wu, TT, Wu XF, Ensor J, Luthra R., Pan J, Correa A, Swisher SG, Chao KSC, Hittelman WN, Ajani JA. Cyclin D1 F/A 870 Polymorphism with Altered Protein Expression is Associated with Genomic Instability and Aggressive Clinical Biology of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology 25(6):698-707, 2007. PMID: 17308274.
23. Izzo JG, Luthra R, Sims-Mourtada J, Chao KS, Lee JH, Wu TT, Correa AM, Luthra M, Aggarwal B, Hung MC, Ajani JA. Emerging Molecular Targets in Esophageal Cancers. Gastrointest Cancer Res 1(4 Suppl 2):S3-6, 2007. PMCID: PMC2666833.
24. Izzo J, Luthra R, Wu TT, Correa AM, Luthra M, Anadasabapathy S, Chao KSC, Hung MC, Aggarwal BB, Hittelman WN, Ajani JA. Molecular mechanisms in Barrett's metaplasia and its progression. Seminars in Oncology 34(suppl 1):S2-S6, 2007. PMCID: PMC22544.
25. Luthra R, Luthra MG, Izzo J, Wu TT, Lopez-Alvarez E, Malhotra U, Chois IS, Zhang L, Ajani JA. Biomarkers of response to preoperative chemoradiation in esophageal cancer. Semin Oncol 33(Suppl 11):2-5, 12/2006. PMID: 17178277.
26. Sims-Mourtada J, Izzo JG, Apisarnthanarax S, Wu TT, Malhotra U, Luthra R, Liao Z, Komaki R, van der Kogel A, Ajani J, Chao KS. Hedgehog: an attribute to tumor regrowth after chemoradiotherapy and a target to improve radiation response. Clin Cancer Res 12(21):6565-72, 11/2006. PMID: 17085672.
27. Izzo JG, Correa AM, Wu TT, Malhotra U, Chao CK, Luthra R, Ensor J, Dekovich A, Liao Z, Hittelman WN, Aggarwal BB, Ajani JA. Pretherapy nuclear factor-kappaB status, chemoradiation resistance, and metastatic progression in esophageal carcinoma. Mol Cancer Ther 5(11):1-8, 11/2006. PMID: 17121931.
28. Luthra R, Wu TT, Luthra MG, Izzo J, Lopez-Alvarez E, Zhang L, Bailey J, Lee JH, Bresalier R, Rashid A, Swisher SG, Ajani JA. Gene expression profiling of localized esophageal carcinomas: association with pathologic response to preoperative chemoradiation. J Clin Oncol 24:259-67, 1/2006. PMID: 16344314.
29. Wislez M, Fujimoto N, Izzo JG, Hanna AE, Cody DD, Langley RR, Tang H, Burdick MD, Sato M, Minna JD, Mao L, Wistuba I, Strieter RM, Kurie JM. High expression of ligands for chemokine receptor CXCR2 in alveolar epithelial neoplasia induced by oncogenic Kras. Cancer Research 66:4198-4207, 2006.
30. Zhu J, Abbruzzese JL, Izzo J, Hittelman WN, Li D. AURKA amplification, chromosome instability, and centrosome abnormality in human pancreatic carcinoma cells. Cancer Genet Cytogenet 159:10-7, 5/2005. PMID: 15860351.
31. Wislez M, Spencer ML, Izzo JG, Juroske DM, Balhara K, Cody DD, Price RE, Hittelman WN, Wistuba,, II, Kurie JM. Inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin reverses alveolar epithelial neoplasia induced by oncogenic K-ras. Cancer Res 65:3226-35, 4/2005. PMID: 15833854.
32. Massarelli E, Brown E, Tran NK, Liu DD, Izzo JG, Lee JJ, El-Naggar AK, Hong WK, Papadimitrakopoulou VA. Loss of E-cadherin and p27 expression is associated with head and neck squamous tumorigenesis. Cancer 103:952-9, 3/2005. PMID: 15666322.
33. Izzo JG, Malhotra U, Wu TT, Ensor J, Luthra R, Lee JH, Swisher SG, Liao Z, Hittelman WN, Aggarwal BB, Ajani JA. Association of activated transcription factor NF-kB with chemoradiation resistance and poor outcome in esophageal carcinoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology 24:748-754, 2005.
34. Izzo JG, Malhotra U, Wu TT, Ensor J, Babenko IM, Swisher SG, Correa A, Bresalier RS, Hittelman WN, Ajani JA. Impact of cyclin D1 polymorphism in esophageal adenocarcinoma tumorigenesis. Seminars in Oncology (in press 2005), 2005.
35. Izzo J, Ajani J. Molecular Biology of Barrett esophagus and carcinoma. Reports in Oncology (in press 2005), 2005.
36. Izzo JG, Papadimitrakopoulou VA, Liu DD, den Hollander PLC, Babeko IM, Keck J, El-Naggar A, Shin DM, Lee JJ, Hong WK, Hittelman WN. The role of cyclin D1 genotype in response to biochemoprevention and rate of progression to upper aero-digestive tract cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 95:3, 2003.
37. Papadimitrakopoulou VA, Tran N, den Hollander P, Hong WK, Izzo JG. Role of E-cadherin complex abnormalities in carcinogenic progression of head and neck premalignant lesions. Proc. AACR 43, abstr. 1544, 2002.
38. Soria JC, Izzo J, Mao L, Hong WK, Papadimitrakopoulou VA. Biomarkers of carcinogenesis of the upper and lower airway epithelium and the role of chemoprevention. Bull Cancer 88:351-61, 4/2001. PMID: 11371369.
39. den Hollander P, Hittelman WN, Ibarguen H, Lu T, El-Naggar A, Izzo J. Contribution of EMS1 alterations to the head and neck multistep tumorigenesis. Proc. AACR 42, abstr. 4028, 2001.
40. Izzo J, Papadimitrakopoulou V, Mao L, Keck J, Hamilton D, Shin DM, El-Naggar A, den Hollander P, Liu D, Hittelman WN, Hong WK. Cyclin D1 and p16 alterations in advanced premalignant lesions of the upper aerodigestive tract: role in response to chemoprevention and cancer development. Clinical Cancer Research 7:3127-3134, 2001.
41. Longo GS, Izzo J, Gorlick R, Banerjee D, Jhanwar SC, Bertino JR. Characterization and drug sensitivity of four newly established colon adenocarcinoma cell lines to antifolate inhibitors of thymidylate synthase. Oncol Res 12:309-14, 2000. PMID: 11589301.
42. Papadimitrakopoulou V, Mao L, Izzo J, Keck J, Shin DM, El-Naggar AK, Clayman G, Hittelman WN, Hong WK. Multiple mechanisms of p16 inactivation in advanced premalignant lesions (APL) of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT). Proc. AACR, abstr. 1298; San Diego, 2000.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: Genetic and Functional Alterations of the c-MET RTK in solid malignancies
Funding Source: Amgen
Role: Co-Investigator
Duration: 1/1/2010 - 12/31/2013
Title: Biomarkers of Progression to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 7/1/2009 - 9/30/2012
Title: Genetic Instability & Risk for Esophageal Carcinoma
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Co-Investigator
Duration: 3/1/2008 - 1/31/2013

Last updated: 4/22/2015