Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Hematology/Oncology

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photo Rahul Parikh, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine


Office: 5th Floor, UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Administrative Assistant:
Betsy Ryland
Address: 5150 Centre Avenue, 5th floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone: 412-623-7833
Education and Training
PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2006
MBBS, Seth G.S. Medical College, 2001
Residency in Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2009
Fellowship in Hematology Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2012
Research Interest
My area of expertise involves evaluation of the DNA repair pathways in human tumors and its association with resistance to chemotherapy and ionizing radiation. Specifically, we observed that copy number loss of distal 11q is the first step in 11q13 amplification in head and neck cancer. We identified that distal 11q harbored critical DNA damage response genes, including ATM, MRE11A, and H2AFX. Distal 11q loss leads to a functionally deficient ATM pathway and upregulation of the compensatory ATR-CHEK1 pathway. This resulted in therapeutic resistance and poor outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer and other cancers. We demonstrated that targeted knockdown of the ATR-CHEK1 pathway led to re-sensitization to therapy. Our unique role was to identify distal 11q loss and consequent loss of the ATM gene to ATR pathway upregulation and therapeutic resistance. Currently we are actively involved in evaluating the ATM and ATR pathways in urothelial malignancies. My research is funded by the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) young investigator award.
I am actively involved in evaluating the role of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in the treatment of prostate adenocarcinomas. In collaboration with Zhou Wang, we evaluated the role of 5??reductase inhibitors sequenced with ADT in delaying the re-growth of prostate cancer cells. Our goal is to lengthen the duration of sensitivity to ADT using intermittent ADT sequenced with 5??reductase inhibitors. This will help prevent side-effects associated with ADT and delay time to developing castrate resistant disease in prostate cancer patients.
Clinical Interest
I specialize in treating patients with genitourinary malignancies with a focus on urothelial cancer. I am the site investigator for multiple industry-sponsored and intergroup studies and the Principal investigator for two investigator initiated studies. The first study involves measuring levels of docetaxel to correlate with efficacy and toxicity in patients with prostate cancer. The second study is evaluation of a novel combination chemotherapy called TAS-102 (Lonsurf) in patients with stage IV bladder cancer.
Educational Interest
I am actively involved in teaching medical students, residents and oncology fellows at the University of Pittsburgh. I am in charge of the Journal club for the oncology fellowship program and am closely involved in the Specialty morning report for our internal medicine residents. I was nominated for David Roodman Excellence in Mentoring Award for our fellowship program earlier this year.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Amjad AI, Parikh RA, Appleman LJ, Hahm ER, Singh K, Singh SV. Broccoli-Derived Sulforaphane and Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer: From Bench to Bedside. Current Pharmacology Report. 2015; 1(6): 382-390.
Sakao K, Vyas AR, Chinni S, Amjad Al, Praikh R, Singh SV. Novel Target of Cancer Chemopreventative Isothiocyanates in Prostate Cancer Cells. Cancer Prevention Research. 2015; 8(5): 365-74.
Masoodi KZ, Ramos Garcia R, Pascal LE, Wang Y, Ma HM, O'Malley K, Eisermann K, Shevrin DH, Nguyen HM, Vessella RL, Nelson JB, Parikh RA, Wang Z. 5a-reductase inhibition suppresses testosterone-induced initial regrowth of regressed xenograft prostate tumors in animal models. Endocrinology. 2013; 154(7): 2296-307.
Parikh RA, Pascal LE, Davies BH, Wang Z. Improving intermittent androgen deprivation therapy – Lessons learned from basic and translational research. Asian Journal of Andrology. 2014; 16(4): 505-10.
Pascal LE, Masoodi KZ, O'Malley KJ, Shevrin D, Gingrich JR, Parikh RA, Wang Z. 5?reductase inhibition coupled with short off cycles increases survival in the LNCaP xenograft prostate tumor model on intermittent androgen deprivation therapy. Journal of Urology. 2014; 5347(14): 04803-4.
Parkih RA, White JS, Huang X, Schoppy DW, Baysal BE, Baskaran R, Bakkenist CJ, Saunders WS, Gollin SM. Loss of distal 11q is associated with DNA repair deficiency and reduced sensitivity to ionizing radiation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2007; 46(8): 761-765.
Sankunny M, Parikh RA, Lewis DW, Gooding WE, Saunders WS, Gollin SM. Targeted inhibition of ATR or CHEK1 reverses radioresistance in oral squamous cell carcinoma cells with distal chromosome arm 11q loss. Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer. 2014; 53(2): 129-143.
Parikh RA, Appleman LJ, Bauman JE, Sankunny M, Lewis DW, Vlad A, Gollin SM. Upregulation of the ATR-CHEK1 pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Genes, Chromosomes & Cancer. 2014; 53(1): 25-37.
Sankunny M, Eshbach ML, Parikh RA, Lewis DW, Gollin SM. Radioresistance Associated with Distal Chromosome 11q Loss in Non-Small Cell (Squamous) Lung Carcinoma Cells can be Reversed by Targeted Inhibition of the ATR-CHEK1 Pathway. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; in press.
Notable Achievements
David Roodman Excellence in Mentoring Award, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2016
Alan Winkelstein Award for Fellowship Educator of the Year, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2015
The Stephen Hale Gushee Young Investigator Award, Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN), 2015
Arthur Mirsky Award for compassion and clinical integrity, best resident at UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside, 2008-2009
Best Senior Resident award at UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside, 2008-2009
Best Junio Resident award at UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside, 2007-2008
Best doctoral dissertation awarded by Delta Omega National Honor Society, 2007
George Wang Student research grant in Pharmaco-genetics, University of Pittsburgh and Novartis, Inc, 2004-2005