Haruo Sugiyama

Professor, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine

Haruo Sugiyama graduated from Osaka University School of Medicine (M.D.) and received Ph.D. degree from Osaka University in tumor virology (1979). Then, he moved to internal medicine and specialized in immunology and hematology. He was appointed Professor, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in 1995 and he is now appointed Specially Appointed Professor, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine.

He invented a clinical test that made it possible to detect only one leukemic cell in 100,000 normal peripheral blood cells in 1994. This test becomes an essential test to treat leukemia, is covered by national health insurance, and is exported to EU (soon to USA). Approximately 100,000 tests were done in 2016 in Japan. By this research achievements, he was honored by 2011 Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund Prize.

Furthermore, he discovered that WT1 protein is a ubiquitous tumor-associated antigen for leukemia and almost all types of solid tumors, and he invented WT1 cancer vaccine. National Cancer Institute, USA evaluated 75 popular tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) for the clinical utility and ranked WT1 antigen as a top among 75 TAAs (2009). He started for the first time (First – in – Man) a phaseⅠclinical study of WT1 cancer vaccine in 2002. Until today, over 800 patients with AML, CML, MDS, multiple myeloma, glioblastoma multiforme, lung, breast, pancreatic, colon, gynecological, thyroid, renal cancers, malignant mesothelioma, or childhood malignancies such as rhabdomyosarcoma were WT1-vaccinated and had sufficient clinical effect without significant adverse effect. Global clinical studies of WT1 cancer vaccine are being performed by two big companies for the governmental approval of the medicine. He also has a strong interest in the use of this vaccine as cancer prophylactic vaccine.