Prof Richard Epstein

Group Leader - Genome Evolution Medical Oncologist

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Professor of Medicine, UNSW Australia

Richard Epstein completed clinical training at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney; Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne; Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge UK; and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard, USA, where he patented a technique for creating antibodies that detect different activation states of cancer proteins.

He then worked at Hammersmith Hospital (Imperial College), London; the National Cancer Centre of Singapore, where he was Deputy Director; and The University of Hong Kong, where he was foundation Professor of Medical Oncology. He was recruited back to St Vincent’s Hospital in 2009 with the mission of building capability for translational research in St Vincent’s Hospital and in The Kinghorn Cancer Centre.

Research Interests

Genome evolution and adaptation
Lifestyle-related and transgenerational carcinogenesis
Intercellular signal transduction and therapeutic inhibition
Clinical trial strategies for inhibiting cancer metastasis and improving patient survival

Awards and Honours

2003 - Royal Society of Medicine, and Society of Authors: Richard Asher Prize, Medical Book of the Year Award, and BMA HIghly Commended Prize, London, UK
1993-98 - Cancer Research Campaign Senior Clinical Fellowship, Hammersmith Hospitals Trust, Imperial College, London, UK
1988-93 - Lucille P. Markey Visiting Fellowship in Biomedical Research, Harvard Medical School, USA
1984-88 - Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Medicine, Cambridge University, UK

Education

1979 - MB, BS, Sydney University - Australia
1987 - FRACP, RACP - Australia
1988 - PhD, Cambridge University - UK
1995 - MD, University of London (Imperial College) - UK
1997 - FRCP, RCP London - UK
2005 - MBA, University of Durham - UK

Selected Publications

Epstein RJ. A periodic table for cancer. Future Oncology 2015 (in press)

Epstein RJ. "By the way, doctor, I'm booked on an African safari after my next chemo.". Br Med J 2015 350: g7822. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7822. PMID: 25569245

Wong H, Lau S, Cheung P, Wong TT, Parker A, Yau T, Epstein RJ. Lobular breast cancers lack the inverse relationship between ER/PR status and cell growth rate characteristic of ductal cancers in two independent patient cohorts: implications for tumor biology and adjuvant therapy. BMC Cancer 2014; 14: 826 PMID: 25385074

Quah XM, Conway RM, Madigan MC, Epstein RJ. Emerging strategies for therapeutic targeting of the tumour microenvironment. Cancer Forum 2014; 38: 133-37

Connolly K, Brungs D, Szeto E, Epstein RJ. Anticancer activity of combination targeted therapy using cetuximab plus vemurafenib for refractory BRAFV600E-mutant metastatic colorectal carcinoma. Curr Oncol 2014; 21: e151-4 doi: 10.3747/co.21.1661

Brungs D, Chen J, Masson P, Epstein RJ. Intermittent androgen deprivation is a rational standard-of-care treatment for all stages of progressive prostate cancer: results from a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prost Dis 2014 doi: 10.1038/pcan.2014.10.

Epstein RJ. The unpluggable in pursuit of the undruggable: tackling the dark matter of the cancer therapeutics universe. Frontiers Oncol 2013; 3: 304- PMID 24377088

Connolly K, Manders P, Earls P, Epstein RJ. Papillomavirus-associated squamous skin cancers following transplant immunosuppression: one Notch closer to control. Cancer Treat Rev. 2013 Aug 22. doi:pii: S0305-7372(13)00170-9. 10.1016/j.ctrv.2013.08.005

Wong H, Lau S, Yau T, Cheung P, Epstein RJ. Presence of an in situ component is associated with reduced biological aggressiveness of size-matched invasive breast cancer. Br J Cancer. 2010; 102(9):1391-6.

Hutson TE, Davis ID, Machiels JP, De Souza PL, Rottey S, Hong BF, Epstein RJ et al. Efficacy and safety of pazopanib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. J Clin Oncol. 2010; 28(3):475-80.

Epstein RJ. Growth of the Asian health-care market: global implications for the pharmaceutical industry. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2007; 6(10):785-92

Lim YP, Wong CY, Ooi LL, Druker BJ, Epstein RJ.Selective tyrosine hyperphosphorylation of cytoskeletal and stress proteins in primary human breast cancers: implications for adjuvant use of kinase-inhibitory drugs. Clin Cancer Res. 2004;10(12 Pt 1):3980-7

Epstein RJ. The CXCL12-CXCR4 chemotactic pathway as a target of adjuvant breast cancer therapies. Nat Rev Cancer. 2004; 4(11):901-9

Chen D, Washbrook E, Sarwar N, Bates GJ, Pace PE, Thirunuvakkarasu V, Taylor J, Epstein RJ et al. Phosphorylation of human estrogen receptor alpha at serine 118 by two distinct signal transduction pathways revealed by phosphorylation-specific antisera. Oncogene. 2002; 21(32):4921-31

Doherty A, Smith G, Banks L, Christmas T, Epstein RJ. Correlation of the osteoblastic phenotype with prostate-specific antigen expression in metastatic prostate cancer: implications for paracrine growth. J Pathol. 1999; 188(3):278-81

Ouyang X, Gulliford T, Doherty A, Huang GC, Epstein RJ. Detection of ErbB2 oversignalling in a majority of breast cancers with phosphorylation-state-specific antibodies. Lancet. 1999; 353(9164):1591-2

Huang GC, Ouyang X, Epstein RJ. Proxy activation of protein ErbB2 by heterologous ligands implies a heterotetrameric mode of receptor tyrosine kinase interaction. Biochem J. 1998; 331 ( Pt 1):113-9

Gulliford TJ, Huang GC, Ouyang X, Epstein RJ. Reduced ability of transforming growth factor-alpha to induce EGF receptor heterodimerization and downregulation suggests a mechanism of oncogenic synergy with ErbB2. Oncogene. 1997; 15(18):2219-23

Epstein RJ, Druker BJ, Roberts TM, Stiles CD. Synthetic phosphopeptide immunogens yield activation-specific antibodies to the c-erbB-2 receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992; 89(21):10435-9

Epstein RJ, Druker BJ, Roberts TM, Stiles CD.Modulation of a Mr 175,000 c-neu receptor isoform in G8/DHFR cells by serum starvation. J Biol Chem. 1990; 265(18):10746-51

Epstein RJ, Smith PJ. Estrogen-induced potentiation of DNA damage and cytotoxicity in human breast cancer cells treated with topoisomerase II-interactive antitumor drugs. Cancer Res. 1988; 48(2):297-303

Prof Richard Epstein