Hematology, Medical Oncology
Dr. Shin’s research initially focused on demonstrating the phenomenon of field cancerization and the multistep carcinogenesis process using animal models and analyzing tissue samples from different sites in the aerodigestive tract and premalignant lesions of patients with head and neck cancer. Dr. Shin investigated the chemopreventive efficiency of retinoids in head and neck cancer in preclinical and clinical settings. These compounds, in particular, 13-cRA demonstrated early promise in several prospective double blind, placebo-controlled randomized trials in reversing oral premalignancy and preventing second primary tumors. The long term follow-up of these studies showed only a marginal protective effect, and the use of high doses of 13-cRA was limited by toxicity. To overcome retinoid resistance in the chemopreventive setting, Dr. Shin and his colleagues initiated a combination of 13-cRA, interferon-α, and α-tocopherol in advanced premalignant lesions and in bioadjuvant therapy for advanced head and neck cancer. The results of these studies were highly promising and drew considerable national attention from head and neck cancer researchers. Currently Dr. Shin is continuously focused on biomarker-driven preclinical and clinical chemopreventive studies using synthetic compounds (i.e., EGFR-TKIs, COX inhibitors) and natural compounds, such as green tea polyphenons, luteolin, resveratrol, curcumin and others. Dr. Shin has also focused on anticancer drug delivery using nanotechnology in collaboration with other investigators. Some of the compounds explored will be taken into clinical trials.