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Giulio Francia
Title Dr.
Faculty Rank Assistant Professor
Degree PhD
Institution University of Texas at El Paso
Department Biological Sciences
Clusters Cancer
500 W. University Avenue - Romm 5.144
City El Paso
State TX
Postal Code 79968
Telephone 915 747 8025
Fax 915 747 5808
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  I began my career by starting my PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London, UK, which has since evolved into Cancer UK. I chose to study the process by which tumors spread, or metastasis, that had fascinated me as an undergraduate, and I began my research career by seeking for new genes whose expression changes as tumors become more metastatic. After my PhD, I trained as a post-doc in Toronto, Canada, on aspects of metastasis, therapies for metastatic disease, and tumor resistance to therapy. I now plan to set up a research program that is internationally recognized for pioneering new ideas, and for generating models to help translate laboratory findings into the clinic - by developing new metastatic tumor models, and by refining those I have already established. I have developed the first model of spontaneously metastatic Her-2 positive breast cancer that can be monitored as mice bearing the disease are treated with clinically relevant anti-Her-2 strategies (Francia et al MCT 2008, and CCR 2009). The impact of this work has subsequently led to three editorials (Francia et al Cancer Cell 2009, Nat Rev Cancer 2011, and Francia and Kerbel Nat. Biotech 2010) where I put forward the hypothesis that testing laboratory models of metastatic disease is essential to identify mechanisms by which tumors respond to current therapies in the clinic, and by which they develop resistance to current treatments. I now want to test my hypothesis by developing two new models of human breast cancer that endogenously over-express Her-2.

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  Research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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2020The role of breast cancer organ specific metastasis on the therapeutic impact of anti-cancer drugs1SC1GM136630-01
2018Paclitaxel Directed Drug Screening: A New Strategy to Identify Anti-Cancer Drugs5SC2CA211029-03
2017Paclitaxel Directed Drug Screening: A New Strategy to Identify Anti-Cancer Drugs5SC2CA211029-02
2016Paclitaxel Directed Drug Screening: A New Strategy to Identify Anti-Cancer Drugs1SC2CA211029-01A1

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1. Xing M, Li P, Wang X, Li J, Shi J, Qin J, Zhang X, Ma Y, Francia G, Zhang JY. Overexpression of p62/IMP2 can Promote Cell Migration in Hepatocellular Carcinoma via Activation of the Wnt/ß-Catenin Pathway. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Dec 18; 12(1).
2. Manciu M, Hosseini S, Di Desidero T, Allegrini G, Falcone A, Bocci G, Kirken RA, Francia G. Optimization of biomarkers-based classification scores as progression-free survival predictors: an intuitive graphical representation. Future Sci OA. 2018 12; 4(10):FSO346.
3. Xu L, Gordon R, Farmer R, Pattanayak A, Binkowski A, Huang X, Avram M, Krishna S, Voll E, Pavese J, Chavez J, Bruce J, Mazar A, Nibbs A, Anderson W, Li L, Jovanovic B, Pruell S, Valsecchi M, Francia G, Betori R, Scheidt K, Bergan R. Precision therapeutic targeting of human cancer cell motility. Nat Commun. 2018 06 22; 9(1):2454.
4. Fricke IB, De Souza R, Costa Ayub L, Francia G, Kerbel R, Jaffray DA, Zheng J. Spatiotemporal assessment of spontaneous metastasis formation using multimodal in vivo imaging in HER2+ and triple negative metastatic breast cancer xenograft models in mice. PLoS One. 2018; 13(5):e0196892.
5. Orlandi P, Di Desidero T, Salvia G, Muscatello B, Francia G, Bocci G. Metronomic vinorelbine is directly active on Non Small Cell Lung Cancer cells and sensitizes the EGFRL858R/T790M cells to reversible EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Biochem Pharmacol. 2018 06; 152:327-337.
6. Chowdhury R, Gales D, Valenzuela P, Miller S, Yehualaeshet T, Manne U, Francia G, Samuel T. Bromoethylindole (BEI-9) redirects NF-?B signaling induced by camptothecin and TNFa to promote cell death in colon cancer cells. Apoptosis. 2017 Dec; 22(12):1553-1563.
7. Di Desidero T, Antonelli A, Orlandi P, Ferrari SM, Fioravanti A, Alì G, Fontanini G, Basolo F, Francia G, Bocci G. Synergistic efficacy of irinotecan and sunitinib combination in preclinical models of anaplastic thyroid cancer. Cancer Lett. 2017 12 28; 411:35-43.
8. Riesco-Martinez M, Parra K, Saluja R, Francia G, Emmenegger U. Resistance to metronomic chemotherapy and ways to overcome it. Cancer Lett. 2017 08 01; 400:311-318.
9. Parra K, Valenzuela P, Lerma N, Gallegos A, Reza LC, Rodriguez G, Emmenegger U, Di Desidero T, Bocci G, Felder MS, Manciu M, Kirken RA, Francia G. Impact of CTLA-4 blockade in conjunction with metronomic chemotherapy on preclinical breast cancer growth. Br J Cancer. 2017 01; 116(3):324-334.
10. Di Desidero T, Derosa L, Galli L, Orlandi P, Fontana A, Fioravanti A, Marconcini R, Giorgi M, Campi B, Saba A, Lucchesi S, Felipetto R, Danesi R, Francia G, Allegrini G, Falcone A, Bocci G. Clinical, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic results of a prospective phase II study on oral metronomic vinorelbine and dexamethasone in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients. Invest New Drugs. 2016 12; 34(6):760-770.
11. Manciu FS, Ciubuc JD, Parra K, Manciu M, Bennet KE, Valenzuela P, Sundin EM, Durrer WG, Reza L, Francia G. Label-Free Raman Imaging to Monitor Breast Tumor Signatures. Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2017 08; 16(4):461-469.
12. Robles-Escajeda E, Das U, Ortega NM, Parra K, Francia G, Dimmock JR, Varela-Ramirez A, Aguilera RJ. A novel curcumin-like dienone induces apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer cells. Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2016 Jun; 39(3):265-77.
13. Li Y, Francia G, Zhang JY. p62/IMP2 stimulates cell migration and reduces cell adhesion in breast cancer. Oncotarget. 2015 Oct 20; 6(32):32656-68.
14. Derosa L, Galli L, Orlandi P, Fioravanti A, Di Desidero T, Fontana A, Antonuzzo A, Biasco E, Farnesi A, Marconcini R, Francia G, Danesi R, Falcone A, Bocci G. Docetaxel plus oral metronomic cyclophosphamide: a phase II study with pharmacodynamic and pharmacogenetic analyses in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients. Cancer. 2014 Dec 15; 120(24):3923-31.
15. Di Desidero T, Fioravanti A, Orlandi P, Canu B, Giannini R, Borrelli N, Man S, Xu P, Fontanini G, Basolo F, Kerbel RS, Francia G, Danesi R, Bocci G. Antiproliferative and proapoptotic activity of sunitinib on endothelial and anaplastic thyroid cancer cells via inhibition of Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and by down-regulation of cyclin-D1. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Sep; 98(9):E1465-73.
16. Kerbel RS, Guerin E, Francia G, Xu P, Lee CR, Ebos JM, Man S. Preclinical recapitulation of antiangiogenic drug clinical efficacies using models of early or late stage breast cancer metastatis. Breast. 2013 Aug; 22 Suppl 2:S57-65.
17. Chow A, Wong A, Francia G, Man S, Kerbel RS, Emmenegger U. Preclinical analysis of resistance and cross-resistance to low-dose metronomic chemotherapy. Invest New Drugs. 2014 Feb; 32(1):47-59.
18. Alkins R, Burgess A, Ganguly M, Francia G, Kerbel R, Wels WS, Hynynen K. Focused ultrasound delivers targeted immune cells to metastatic brain tumors. Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 15; 73(6):1892-9.
19. Bocci G, Fioravanti A, Orlandi P, Di Desidero T, Natale G, Fanelli G, Viacava P, Naccarato AG, Francia G, Danesi R. Metronomic ceramide analogs inhibit angiogenesis in pancreatic cancer through up-regulation of caveolin-1 and thrombospondin-1 and down-regulation of cyclin D1. Neoplasia. 2012 Sep; 14(9):833-45.
20. Cruz-Muñoz W, Jaramillo ML, Man S, Xu P, Banville M, Collins C, Nantel A, Francia G, Morgan SS, Cranmer LD, O''Connor-McCourt MD, Kerbel RS. Roles for endothelin receptor B and BCL2A1 in spontaneous CNS metastasis of melanoma. Cancer Res. 2012 Oct 01; 72(19):4909-19.
21. Hackl C, Man S, Francia G, Milsom C, Xu P, Kerbel RS. Metronomic oral topotecan prolongs survival and reduces liver metastasis in improved preclinical orthotopic and adjuvant therapy colon cancer models. Gut. 2013 Feb; 62(2):259-71.
22. Francia G, Shaked Y, Hashimoto K, Sun J, Yin M, Cesta C, Xu P, Man S, Hackl C, Stewart J, Uhlik M, Dantzig AH, Foster FS, Kerbel RS. Low-dose metronomic oral dosing of a prodrug of gemcitabine (LY2334737) causes antitumor effects in the absence of inhibition of systemic vasculogenesis. Mol Cancer Ther. 2012 Mar; 11(3):680-9.
23. Francia G, Cruz-Munoz W, Man S, Xu P, Kerbel RS. Mouse models of advanced spontaneous metastasis for experimental therapeutics. Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Feb; 11(2):135-41.
24. Emmenegger U, Francia G, Chow A, Shaked Y, Kouri A, Man S, Kerbel RS. Tumors that acquire resistance to low-dose metronomic cyclophosphamide retain sensitivity to maximum tolerated dose cyclophosphamide. Neoplasia. 2011 Jan; 13(1):40-8.
25. Tang TC, Man S, Xu P, Francia G, Hashimoto K, Emmenegger U, Kerbel RS. Development of a resistance-like phenotype to sorafenib by human hepatocellular carcinoma cells is reversible and can be delayed by metronomic UFT chemotherapy. Neoplasia. 2010 Nov; 12(11):928-40.
26. Francia G, Kerbel RS. Raising the bar for cancer therapy models. Nat Biotechnol. 2010 Jun; 28(6):561-2.
27. Emmenegger U, Francia G, Shaked Y, Kerbel RS. Metronomic chemotherapy: principles and lessons learned from applications in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2010; 180:165-83.
28. Francia G, Man S, Lee CJ, Lee CR, Xu P, Mossoba ME, Emmenegger U, Medin JA, Kerbel RS. Comparative impact of trastuzumab and cyclophosphamide on HER-2-positive human breast cancer xenografts. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 15; 15(20):6358-66.
29. Mutsaers AJ, Francia G, Man S, Lee CR, Ebos JM, Wu Y, Witte L, Berry S, Moore M, Kerbel RS. Dose-dependent increases in circulating TGF-alpha and other EGFR ligands act as pharmacodynamic markers for optimal biological dosing of cetuximab and are tumor independent. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Apr 01; 15(7):2397-405.
30. Francia G, Emmenegger U, Kerbel RS. Tumor-associated fibroblasts as "Trojan Horse" mediators of resistance to anti-VEGF therapy. Cancer Cell. 2009 Jan 06; 15(1):3-5.
31. Francia G, Emmenegger U, Lee CR, Shaked Y, Folkins C, Mossoba M, Medin JA, Man S, Zhu Z, Witte L, Kerbel RS. Long-term progression and therapeutic response of visceral metastatic disease non-invasively monitored in mouse urine using beta-human choriogonadotropin secreting tumor cell lines. Mol Cancer Ther. 2008 Oct; 7(10):3452-9.
32. Ebos JM, Lee CR, Bogdanovic E, Alami J, Van Slyke P, Francia G, Xu P, Mutsaers AJ, Dumont DJ, Kerbel RS. Vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated decrease in plasma soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 levels as a surrogate biomarker for tumor growth. Cancer Res. 2008 Jan 15; 68(2):521-9.
33. Emmenegger U, Shaked Y, Man S, Bocci G, Spasojevic I, Francia G, Kouri A, Coke R, Cruz-Munoz W, Ludeman SM, Colvin OM, Kerbel RS. Pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic study of chronic low-dose metronomic cyclophosphamide therapy in mice. Mol Cancer Ther. 2007 Aug; 6(8):2280-9.
34. Munoz R, Man S, Shaked Y, Lee CR, Wong J, Francia G, Kerbel RS. Highly efficacious nontoxic preclinical treatment for advanced metastatic breast cancer using combination oral UFT-cyclophosphamide metronomic chemotherapy. Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 01; 66(7):3386-91.
35. Francia G, Davì MV, Montresor E, Colato C, Ferdeghini M, Lo Cascio V. Long-term quiescence of ectopic Cushing''s syndrome caused by pulmonary neuroendocrine tumor (typical carcinoid) and tumorlets: spontaneous remission or therapeutic effect of bromocriptine? J Endocrinol Invest. 2006 Apr; 29(4):358-62.
36. Emmenegger U, Morton GC, Francia G, Shaked Y, Franco M, Weinerman A, Man S, Kerbel RS. Low-dose metronomic daily cyclophosphamide and weekly tirapazamine: a well-tolerated combination regimen with enhanced efficacy that exploits tumor hypoxia. Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 01; 66(3):1664-74.
37. du Manoir JM, Francia G, Man S, Mossoba M, Medin JA, Viloria-Petit A, Hicklin DJ, Emmenegger U, Kerbel RS. Strategies for delaying or treating in vivo acquired resistance to trastuzumab in human breast cancer xenografts. Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 01; 12(3 Pt 1):904-16.
38. Francia G, Green SK, Bocci G, Man S, Emmenegger U, Ebos JM, Weinerman A, Shaked Y, Kerbel RS. Down-regulation of DNA mismatch repair proteins in human and murine tumor spheroids: implications for multicellular resistance to alkylating agents. Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Oct; 4(10):1484-94.
39. Shaked Y, Emmenegger U, Francia G, Chen L, Lee CR, Man S, Paraghamian A, Ben-David Y, Kerbel RS. Low-dose metronomic combined with intermittent bolus-dose cyclophosphamide is an effective long-term chemotherapy treatment strategy. Cancer Res. 2005 Aug 15; 65(16):7045-51.
40. Ma L, Francia G, Viloria-Petit A, Hicklin DJ, du Manoir J, Rak J, Kerbel RS. In vitro procoagulant activity induced in endothelial cells by chemotherapy and antiangiogenic drug combinations: modulation by lower-dose chemotherapy. Cancer Res. 2005 Jun 15; 65(12):5365-73.
41. Bocci G, Man S, Green SK, Francia G, Ebos JM, du Manoir JM, Weinerman A, Emmenegger U, Ma L, Thorpe P, Davidoff A, Huber J, Hicklin DJ, Kerbel RS. Increased plasma vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as a surrogate marker for optimal therapeutic dosing of VEGF receptor-2 monoclonal antibodies. Cancer Res. 2004 Sep 15; 64(18):6616-25.
42. Francia G, Man S, Teicher B, Grasso L, Kerbel RS. Gene expression analysis of tumor spheroids reveals a role for suppressed DNA mismatch repair in multicellular resistance to alkylating agents. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Aug; 24(15):6837-49.
43. Emmenegger U, Man S, Shaked Y, Francia G, Wong JW, Hicklin DJ, Kerbel RS. A comparative analysis of low-dose metronomic cyclophosphamide reveals absent or low-grade toxicity on tissues highly sensitive to the toxic effects of maximum tolerated dose regimens. Cancer Res. 2004 Jun 01; 64(11):3994-4000.
44. Green SK, Francia G, Isidoro C, Kerbel RS. Antiadhesive antibodies targeting E-cadherin sensitize multicellular tumor spheroids to chemotherapy in vitro. Mol Cancer Ther. 2004 Feb; 3(2):149-59.
45. Bocci G, Francia G, Man S, Lawler J, Kerbel RS. Thrombospondin 1, a mediator of the antiangiogenic effects of low-dose metronomic chemotherapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 28; 100(22):12917-22.
46. Kao RH, Francia G, Poulsom R, Hanby AM, Hart IR. Application of differential display, with in situ hybridization verification, to microscopic samples of breast cancer tissue. Int J Exp Pathol. 2003 Oct; 84(5):207-12.
47. Man S, Bocci G, Francia G, Green SK, Jothy S, Hanahan D, Bohlen P, Hicklin DJ, Bergers G, Kerbel RS. Antitumor effects in mice of low-dose (metronomic) cyclophosphamide administered continuously through the drinking water. Cancer Res. 2002 May 15; 62(10):2731-5.
48. Hokao R, Francia G. Differential display. Methods Mol Med. 2001; 57:297-305.
49. Francia G, Poulsom R, Hanby AM, Mitchell SD, Williams G, Mckee P, Hart IR. Identification by differential display of a protein phosphatase-2A regulatory subunit preferentially expressed in malignant melanoma cells. Int J Cancer. 1999 Aug 27; 82(5):709-13.
50. Kao RH, von Schlippe M, Francia G, Powell J, Hart IR. Identification of changes in gene expression associated with minimal residual disease. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1999; 18(1):3-13.
51. Francia G, Mitchell SD, Moss SE, Hanby AM, Marshall JF, Hart IR. Identification by differential display of annexin-VI, a gene differentially expressed during melanoma progression. Cancer Res. 1996 Sep 01; 56(17):3855-8.
52. Price NT, Francia G, Hall L, Proud CG. Guanine nucleotide exchange factor for eukaryotic initiation factor-2. Cloning of cDNA for the delta-subunit of rabbit translation initiation factor-2B. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1994 Mar 01; 1217(2):207-10.

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