Oren J. Becher, MD



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Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Assistant Professor in Pathology
Assistant Professor in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Department / Division:
Pediatrics / Pediatrics-Hematology/Oncology
DUMC 91001
Durham, NC 27710
Appointment Telephone:
Office Telephone:
  • MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Maryland), 2000
  • Pediatrics, Children's National Medical Center (Washington, DC), 2003
  • Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Cornell/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), 2006
  • Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), 2007
Clinical Interests:
Central nervous system tumors in children and teenagers; new treatment regimens for children and young adults with gliomas; interest in discovering novel, highly targeted, potent, and less toxic molecular inhibitors to treat brain tumors, and in testing novel drugs in genetic models of brain-stem gliomas or DIPGs
Research Interests:
My laboratory interests are to apply genetic mouse models of pediatric brain tumors to prioritize the translation of novel agents into clinical trials. In particular, my laboratory is using a genetic mouse model of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas to determine therapeutic targets, mechanisms of resistance to targeted agents, unravel new ways to bypass the blood-brain-barrier, and investigate region-specific differences between gliomagenesis in the brainstem and the cortex. My laboratory is also developing improved genetic mouse models of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
Representative Publications:
  • Bakst, RL; Dunkel, IJ; Gilheeney, S; Khakoo, Y; Becher, O; Souweidane, MM; Wolden, SL. Reirradiation for recurrent medulloblastoma. Cancer. 2011;117:4977-4982.  Abstract
  • Pitter, KL; Galbán, CJ; Galbán, S; Tehrani, OS; Li, F; Charles, N; Bradbury, MS; Becher, OJ; Chenevert, TL; Rehemtulla, A; Ross, BD; Holland, EC; Hambardzumyan, D. Perifosine and CCI 779 co-operate to induce cell death and decrease proliferation in PTEN-intact and PTEN-deficient PDGF-driven murine glioblastoma. PloS one. 2011;6:e14545.  Abstract
  • Polkinghorn, WR; Dunkel, IJ; Souweidane, MM; Khakoo, Y; Lyden, DC; Gilheeney, SW; Becher, OJ; Budnick, AS; Wolden, SL. Disease control and ototoxicity using intensity-modulated radiation therapy tumor-bed boost for medulloblastoma. International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics. 2011;81:e15-e20.  Abstract
  • Becher, OJ; Hambardzumyan, D; Walker, TR; Helmy, K; Nazarian, J; Albrecht, S; Hiner, RL; Gall, S; Huse, JT; Jabado, N; MacDonald, TJ; Holland, EC. Preclinical evaluation of radiation and perifosine in a genetically and histologically accurate model of brainstem glioma. Cancer Research. 2010;70:2548-2557.  Abstract
  • Becher, OJ; Holland, EC. Evidence for and against regional differences in neural stem and progenitor cells of the CNS. Genes & development. 2010;24:2233-2238.  Abstract
  • Castellino, RC; Barwick, BG; Schniederjan, M; Buss, MC; Becher, O; Hambardzumyan, D; Macdonald, TJ; Brat, DJ; Durden, DL. Heterozygosity for Pten promotes tumorigenesis in a mouse model of medulloblastoma. PloS one. 2010;5:e10849.  Abstract
  • Amankulor, NM; Hambardzumyan, D; Pyonteck, SM; Becher, OJ; Joyce, JA; Holland, EC. Sonic hedgehog pathway activation is induced by acute brain injury and regulated by injury-related inflammation. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2009;29:10299-10308.  Abstract
  • Becher, OJ; Souweidane, M; Lavi, E; Kramer, K; Lis, E; Marghoob, AA; Khakoo, Y. Large congenital melanotic nevi in an extremity with neurocutaneous melanocytosis. Pediatric Dermatology. 2009;26:79-82.  Abstract
  • Hambardzumyan, D; Amankulor, NM; Helmy, KY; Becher, OJ; Holland, EC. Modeling Adult Gliomas Using RCAS/t-va Technology. Translational oncology. 2009;2:89-95.  Abstract
  • Becher, OJ; Hambardzumyan, D; Fomchenko, EI; Momota, H; Mainwaring, L; Bleau, AM; Katz, AM; Edgar, M; Kenney, AM; Cordon-Cardo, C; Blasberg, RG; Holland, EC. Gli activity correlates with tumor grade in platelet-derived growth factor-induced gliomas. Cancer Research. 2008;68:2241-2249.  Abstract
  • Becher, OJ; Peterson, KM; Khatua, S; Santi, MR; MacDonald, TJ. IGFBP2 is overexpressed by pediatric malignant astrocytomas and induces the repair enzyme DNA-PK. Journal of Child Neurology. 2008;23:1205-1213.  Abstract
  • Hambardzumyan, D; Becher, OJ; Holland, EC. Cancer stem cells and survival pathways. Cell Cycle. 2008;7:1371-1378.  Abstract
  • Hambardzumyan, D; Becher, OJ; Rosenblum, MK; Pandolfi, PP; Manova-Todorova, K; Holland, EC. PI3K pathway regulates survival of cancer stem cells residing in the perivascular niche following radiation in medulloblastoma in vivo. Genes & development. 2008;22:436-448.  Abstract
  • Becher, OJ; Holland, EC. Genetically engineered models have advantages over xenografts for preclinical studies. Cancer Research. 2006;66:3355-3358.  Abstract
  • Gershon, TR; Becher, OJ. Medulloblastoma: therapy and biologic considerations. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. 2006;6:200-206.  Abstract