The NEXT-Ganken Program is a 5-year research program that has been promoted by the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research’s (JFCR’s) Research Unit since 2020 in anticipation of forming the future of cancer medical care in the coming decade. The program establishes a new research promotion system enabling the Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR to collaborate with research systems a closer level than ever, elucidating pathology in an innovative manner to result in next-generation cancer therapeutic strategies, as well as develops human resources playing a role in future cancer research.

Directors' Message

JFCR opened Koraku Hospital (currently the Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR) in the area of Nishisugamo in 1934 as Japan's first hospital specializing in cancer. Since its establishment, the research institute and hospital have always coexisted. Currently, even after the hospital was moved to the area of Ariake, all research departments, namely the Cancer Institute, Cancer Chemotherapy Center and Cancer Precision Medicine Center (CPM Center) continue to promote structured cancer research in close collaboration with the Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR. From the beginning of the 21st century, the development of molecular-targeted agents brought great change to cancer treatments. Furthermore, more than a quarter of a century has already passed since the global trend of research and development has shifted a method that searches for the mutations of cancer genes and tumor-suppressing genes, developing molecular-targeted agents for their mutant products with rapid advancement of cancer genome analysis technologies. However, only less than half of identified cancer types markedly respond to molecular-targeted agents. In recent years, many researchers think that there are limits to treatment drugs developed through this method.
In order to provide more cancer patients with more effective cancer treatment drugs in the future, the development and progression of cancer, in particular the molecular mechanisms of its metastasis and recurrence, must be clarified at a much deeper level than our present understanding to learn about their molecular mechanisms and identify new treatment targets. JFCR has the potential to attain a new understanding of cancer for the development of innovative treatment drugs. Then, when considering such a new workflow, what is most important is to encourage basic cancer research so that human cancers can be thoroughly understood, to a level that is unprecedentedly different from our current understanding. In other words, the promotion of revolutionary human cancer biology studies is crucial. To achieve this, we have set up the NEXT-Ganken Program in JFCR's Research Unit as a new focal point for research in order to drive innovative basic cancer research forward by introducing various advanced analysis technologies. Under the guidance of Program Director Shinji Ohno and Associate Program Director Reo Maruyama, many young researchers will participate in the Program to propel research and development with an unprecedented structure. We ask for your kind support.

Tetsuo Noda, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Managing Director, Research Unit, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research

Now that comprehensive genome research on cancer is being conducted and new targeted therapeutics are being developed one after another, basic cancer research and clinical practice are rapidly approaching each other. However, it is also a reality that the closer we get, the more we do not know, and the more complicated our understanding of cancer becomes. We are conducting research to understand cancer by taking it out of the body. However, thinking of cancer in isolation from the body is a major cause of losing sight of the true nature of cancer. We are conducting research to understand cancer as a member of cellular society and to get one step closer to the true nature of cancer by reexamining cancer in the context of the living body. This requires not only the conventional medical perspective, but also incorporating the wisdom of information science, physics, mathematics, engineering, sociology, logic, and other fields.
NEXT-Ganken Program is a place where young people from various fields who will lead the coming era gather to look at the living body and understand cancer without being bound by conventional concepts. We hope to activate NEXT-Ganken Program as a place to open up the future of medicine, envisioning what medicine and society will be like in 10 to 20 years from now. We would like to appreciate your continued support and guidance.

Takayuki Ueno, M.D., Ph.D.
Program Director, NEXT-Ganken Program
Center Chief, Breast Oncology Center, Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR

NEXT-Ganken Program

The goal of this program is to elucidate the pathology of metastatic and recurrent cancers. In conducting this research, cancer is not simply considered to be a mass but is interpreted as an "aggregate of various cells." We intend to comprehend the nature of cancer by not only understanding the "characteristics" of each cell composing a tumor but also comprehending the "conversations" exchanged among cells and the constitution of the "society" created by them. The foundation of this research is technologies that analyze scarce and valuable cancer specimens in detail at a single cell level and create organoids that act as their replicas. By using data and resources obtained from the program as the foundation, and organically combining various specialized clinical and research knowledge and technologies, we believe that unique research, made possible only by JFCR, can be conducted.

Cancer Cell Diversity Project

Through the clarification of various "characteristics" of human cancer cells at a single cell level from the perspective of genomic function, we aim at developing new therapeutic strategies taking into account the dynamics of the characteristics and diversity of cancer cells.

Cancer Cell Communication Project

Though learning the roles of each cell that makes up a "cancer cell community" and everything on the "communications" exchanged among the cells, we strive to comprehend the constitution of the cancer cell community and propose therapeutic strategies to control it.

Tumor Ecosystems Project

Through understanding the scheme with which a tumor adapts to the environments of various organs in a human individual, we attempt to comprehend its characteristics and fragility and elicit innovative therapeutic strategies.

Cancer Informatics and Biobanking Platform Project

We will obtain specimens that can be keys for pushing each project forward and collect exhaustive information with the use of advanced technologies. We will build a platform to maximize the use of information contained in valuable specimens and share data and resources obtained through their analysis.

Advanced Biotechnology Development Project

We will collaborate with Japanese universities and research organizations and conduct research for developing advanced bioanalysis technologies using specimens derived from cancer patients.

Program Members

Takayuki Ueno, M.D., Ph.D.

Program Director
Breast Surgery

Reo Maruyama, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Program Director
Cancer Biology / Informatics

Akiko Takahashi, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Project Leader
Cancer Biology

Noriko Saitoh, Ph.D.

Cancer Biology / Molecular Biology

Hiroaki Tachiwana, Ph.D.


Mahmut Amori, M.D., Ph.D.


Jun Suzuka, Ph.D.


Kenichi Miyata, Ph.D

Cancer Biology / Bioinformatics

Tomohisa Hayakawa, Ph.D.

Molecular Biology

Kazutaka Otsuji, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Research Fellow
Breast Surgery

Yuki Matsunaga, M.D.

Clinical Research Fellow
Breast Surgery

Kohei Kumegawa, M.D.

Clinical Research Fellow
Oncology / Bioinformatics

Asumi Iesato, M.D., Ph.D.

Clinical Research Fellow
Oncology / Breast Surgery

Nami Nakasuji

Technical Assistant

Kaoru Masuda

Technical Assistant
Veterinary Pathology

Kana Yukino

Technical Assistant
Molecular Biology

Marinela Perpelescu, Ph.D.

Technical Assistant

Shingo Iwami, Ph.D.

Visiting Scientist
Mathematical Oncology

Eiryo Kawakami, M.D., Ph.D.

Visiting Scientist
AI Medicine

Shinji Nakaoka, Ph.D.

Visiting Scientist
Mathematical Oncology

Yoko Takahashi, M.D.

Visiting Scientist
Breast Surgery

Nami Yamashita, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Scholar
Breast Surgery

Masahiro Kuno, M.D.

Medical Oncologyy

Mami Sano

Administrative Assistant

Advisory Board

Shinji Ohno, M.D., Ph.D.

Program Director
Breast Surgery

Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D.

Cancer Biology

Ian E. Krop, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Oncology


  1. Iesato A, Fushimi A, Tahara R, Terada M, Iwase M, Kawamura C, Yamashita N. A novel system to provide information via online YouTube videos and an evaluation of current online information about hereditary breast cancer. Breast Cancer. in press.
  2. Inoue F, Sone K, Kumegawa K, Toyohara Y, Tanimoto S, Natsumi T, Takahashi Y, Kusakabe M, Kukita A, Honjoh H, Nishijima A, Taguchi A, Miyamoto Y, Tanikawa M, Iriyama T, Uchino M, Wada-Hiraike O, Oda K, Suzuki H, Maruyama R, Osuga Y. Activation of interferon signaling and induction of apoptosis by the inhibition of protein arginine methyltransferase 6 via histone modification in endometrial cancer cells. Int J Oncol. in press.
  3. Qian J, Zhou X, Tanaka K, Takahashi A. Alteration in the chromatin landscape during the DNA damage response: Continuous rotation of the gear driving cellular senescence and aging. DNA Repair. 2023 Nov;131:103572.
  4. Miyata K, Zhou X, Nishio M, Hanyu A, Chiba M, Kawasaki H, Osako T, Takeuchi K, Ohno S, Ueno T, Maruyama R, Takahashi A. Chromatin conformational changes at human satellite II contribute to the senescence phenotype in the tumor microenvironment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 Aug 8;120(32):e2305046120.
  5. Kitajima H, Maruyama R, Niinuma T, Yamamoto E, Takasawa A, Takasawa K, Ishiguro K, Tsuyada A, Suzuki R, Sudo G, Kubo T, Mitsuhashi K, Idogawa M, Tange S, Toyota M, Yoshido A, Kumegawa K, Kai M, Yanagihara K, Tokino T, Osanai M, Nakase H, Suzuki H. TM4SF1-AS1 inhibits apoptosis by promoting stress granule formation in cancer cells. Cell Death Dis. 2023 Jul 13;14(7):424.
  6. Yi JM, Kang TH, Han YK, Park HY, Yang JH, Bae JH, Suh JS, Kim TJ, Kim JG, Cui YH, Suzuki H, Kumegawa K, Kim SJ, Zhao Y, Park IJ, Hong SM, Chung JY, Lee SJ. Human Neuralized is a novel tumour suppressor targeting Wnt/β-catenin signalling in colon cancer. EMBO Rep. 2023 Aug 3;24(8):e56335.
  7. Kumegawa K, Yang L, Miyata K, Maruyama R. FOXD1 is associated with poor outcome and maintains tumor-promoting enhancer-gene programs in basal-like breast cancer. Front Oncol. 2023 May 10;13:1156111.
  8. Saeki S, Kumegawa K, Takahashi Y, Yang L, Osako T, Yasen M, Otsuji K, Miyata K, Yamakawa K, Suzuka J, Sakimoto Y, Ozaki Y, Takano T, Sano T, Noda T, Ohno S, Yao R, Ueno T, Maruyama R. Transcriptomic intratumor heterogeneity of breast cancer patient-derived organoids may reflect the unique biological features of the tumor of origin. Breast Cancer Res. 2023 Feb 21;25(1):21.
  9. Otsuji K, Tanabe M, Morizono A, Harada M, Sato A, Niwa T, Nishioka K, Seto Y. Exploring Predictive Risk Factors of Infusion Reactions with First Pertuzumab Administration in HER2-positive Breast Cancer Patients: A Single Institution Experience. JMA J. 2023 Jan 16;6(1):63-72.
  10. Misawa T, Hitomi K, Miyata K, Tanaka Y, Fujii R, Chiba M, Loo TM, Hanyu A, Kawasaki H, Kato H, Maezawa Y, Yokote K, Nakamura AJ, Ueda K, Yaegashi N, Takahashi A. Identification of Novel Senescent Markers in Small Extracellular Vesicles. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 26;24(3):2421.
  11. Kumegawa K, Saeki S, Takahashi Y, Yang L, Osako T, Nakadai T, Amino S, Maeda T, Takahata C, Mori S, Noda T, Ohno S, Ueno T, Maruyama R. Chromatin profile- based identification of a novel ER-positive breast cancer subgroup with reduced ER-responsive element accessibility. Br J Cancer. 2023 Mar;128(7):1208-1222.
  12. Nakadai T, Shimada M, Ito K, Cevher MA, Chu CS, Kumegawa K, Maruyama R, Malik S, Roeder RG. Two target gene activation pathways for orphan ERR nuclear receptors. Cell Res. 2023 Feb;33(2):165-183. doi: 10.1038/s41422-022-00774-z. Epub 2023 Jan 16. PMID: 36646760; PMCID: PMC9892517.
  13. Sugawara S, Okada R, Loo TM, Tanaka H, Miyata K, Chiba M, Kawasaki H, Katoh K, Kaji S, Maezawa Y, Yokote K, Nakayama M, Oshima M, Nagao K, Obuse C, Nagayama S, Takubo K, Nakanishi A, Kanemaki MT, Hara E, Takahashi A. RNaseH2A downregulation drives inflammatory gene expression via genomic DNA fragmentation in senescent and cancer cells. Commun Biol. 2022 Dec 28;5(1):1420.
  14. Nakadai T, Yang L, Kumegawa K, Maruyama R. Estrogen receptorα K303R mutation reorganizes its binding to forkhead box protein A1 regions and induces chromatin opening. Mol Biol Rep. 2023 Feb;50(2):1209-1220.
  15. Igarashi N, Miyata K, Loo TM, Chiba M, Hanyu A, Nishio M, Kawasaki H, Zheng H, Toyokuni S, Kon S, Moriyama K, Fujita Y, Takahashi A. Hepatocyte growth factor derived from senescent cells attenuates cell competition-induced apical elimination of oncogenic cells. Nat Commun. 2022 Jul 18;13(1):4157.
  16. Kumegawa K, Takahashi Y, Saeki S, Yang L, Nakadai T, Osako T, Mori S, Noda T, Ohno S, Ueno T, Maruyama R. GRHL2 motif is associated with intratumor heterogeneity of cis-regulatory elements in luminal breast cancer. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2022 Jun 8;8(1):70.
  17. Miyata K, Takahashi A. Pericentromeric repetitive ncRNA regulates chromatin interaction and inflammatory gene expression. Nucleus. 2022 Dec;13(1):74-78.
  18. Miyata K, Imai Y, Hori S, Nishio M, Loo TM, Okada R, Yang L, Nakadai T, Maruyama R, Fujii R, Ueda K, Jiang L, Zheng H, Toyokuni S, Sakata T, Shirahige K, Kojima R, Nakayama M, Oshima M, Nagayama S, Seimiya H, Hirota T, Saya H, Hara E, Takahashi A. Pericentromeric noncoding RNA changes DNA binding of CTCF and inflammatory gene expression in senescence and cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Aug 31;118(35):e2025647118.
  19. Otsuji K, Sasaki T, Tanabe M, Seto Y. Quantitative assessment of HER2 gene amplification of breast cancer using droplet digital PCR. Pathol Int. 2021 Aug;71(8):538-547.


The NEXT-Ganken Program recruits peers who are willing to challenge this meaningful topic with us. Peers can be accepted as graduate students or research scholars. Observation is welcomed at any time. If you are interested in, please contact us.


NEXT-Ganken Program, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research

3-8-31 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8550, JAPAN
Satellite Laboratory
6th Floor, Ariake Central Tower, 3-7-18 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0063, JAPAN

Contact to
Reo Maruyama