Javier F. Torres-Roca, MD

Where You Are:
Javier F. Torres-Roca, MD

Associate Member

Office  (813) 745-8424

Education And Training
  • Resident, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, 2002 - Radiation Oncology
  • Intern, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, 1998 - Internal Medicine
  • Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1997 - Genetics
  • Fellow, Institut Pasteur, 1995 - Immunology
  • MD, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, 1992


The central interest of Dr. Torres-Roca’s laboratory is in the development of a systems level understanding of the biological networks that regulate radiosensitivity. We apply and integrate engineering principles and mathematical modeling along with experimental cellular and molecular biology in an effort to elucidate the topology and function of the radiosensitivity network. In collaboration with ET members (Eschrich SA and Chen DT) his group has developed a mathematical approach to integrate genomics, genotype, tissue type and biological pathway interactions to identify radiation-specific biomarkers in a large dataset of cancer cell lines. This strategy has resulted in the identification of a novel and highly redundant genetic free-scale network with 10 central nodes that we have proposed as central in the determination of radiophenotype. 

We applied this knowledge by developing in cell lines a gene expression linear regression model of cellular radiosensitivity based on the expression of the ten central network hubs. This model was subsequently independently validated as a predictor of response and prognosis in 277 patients in four different disease sites (breast, head and neck, rectal, esophagus), thus providing critical clinical validation for this approach. An NCI-sponsored prospective clinical trial is currently underway at Moffitt to further test the systems-based gene expression model as a predictor of clinical response in rectal and esophageal cancer patients treated with preoperative concurrent chemoradiation.

A major implication of this work is that mathematical modeling of cellular systems can lead to the development of technologies that can impact the clinic. Current efforts in the laboratory are aimed at integrating experimentally quantified cellular and clonogenic heterogeneity into computer-based virtual models of the clonogenic assay.

  • Gwede CK, Davis SN, Wilson S, Patel M, Vadaparampil ST, Meade CD, Rivers BM, Yu D, Torres-Roca J, Heysek R, Spiess PE, Pow-Sang J, Jacobsen P. Perceptions of Prostate Cancer Screening Controversy and Informed Decision Making: Implications for Development of a Targeted Decision Aid for Unaffected Male First-Degree Relatives. Am J Health Promot. 2014 Jun. Pubmedid: 24968183.
  • Eschrich SA, Fulp WJ, Pawitan Y, Foekens JA, Smid M, Martens JW, Echevarria M, Kamath V, Lee JH, Harris EE, Bergh J, Torres-Roca JF. Validation of a radiosensitivity molecular signature in breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Sep;18(18):5134-5143. Pubmedid: 22832933. Pmcid: PMC3993974.
  • Torres-Roca JF. A molecular assay of tumor radiosensitivity: a roadmap towards biology-based personalized radiation therapy. Per Med. 2012 Jul;9(5):547-557. Pubmedid: 23105945.
  • Finkelstein SE, Rodriguez F, Dunn M, Farmello MJ, Smilee R, Janssen W, Kang L, Chuang T, Seigne J, Pow-Sang J, Torres-Roca JF, Heysek R, Biagoli M, Shankar R, Scott J, Antonia S, Gabrilovich D, Fishman M. Serial assessment of lymphocytes and apoptosis in the prostate during coordinated intraprostatic dendritic cell injection and radiotherapy. Immunotherapy. 2012 Apr;4(4):373-382. Pubmedid: 22512631.
  • Eschrich S, Zhang H, Zhao H, Boulware D, Lee JH, Bloom G, Torres-Roca JF. Systems biology modeling of the radiation sensitivity network: a biomarker discovery platform. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Oct;75(2):497-505. Pubmedid: 19735874. Pmcid: PMC2762403.
  • Eschrich SA, Pramana J, Zhang H, Zhao H, Boulware D, Lee JH, Bloom G, Rocha-Lima C, Kelley S, Calvin DP, Yeatman TJ, Begg AC, Torres-Roca JF. A gene expression model of intrinsic tumor radiosensitivity: prediction of response and prognosis after chemoradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Oct;75(2):489-496. Pubmedid: 19735873. Pmcid: PMC3038688.
  • Torres-Roca J, Stevens C. Predicting response to clinical radiotherapy: past, present, and future directions. Cancer Control. 2008 Apr;15(2):151-156. Pubmedid: 18376382.
  • Scuto A, Zhang H, Zhao H, Rivera M, Yeatman TJ, Jove R, Torres-Roca JF. RbAp48 regulates cytoskeletal organization and morphology by increasing K-Rasactivity and signaling through mitogen-activated protein kinase. Cancer Res. 2007 Nov;67(21):10317-10324. Pubmedid: 17974974.
  • Torres-Roca J, DeSilvio M, Mora L, Khor L, Hammond E, Ahmad N, Jove R, Forman J, Lee R, Sandler H, Pollack A. Activated STAT3 as a correlate of distant metastasis in prostate cancer: a secondary analysis of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 86-10. Urology. 2007 Mar;69(3):505-509. Pubmedid: 17382154.
  • Torres-Roca J, Cantor A, Shukla S, Montejo M, Friedland J, Seigne J, Heysek R, Pow-Sang J. Treatment of intermediate-risk prostate cancer with brachytherapy without supplemental pelvic radiotherapy: a review of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center experience. Urol Oncol. 2006 Oct;24(5):384-390. Pubmedid: 16962486.
  • Torres-Roca J. The role of external-beam radiation therapy in the treatment of clinicallylocalized prostate cancer. Cancer Control. 2006 Jul;13(3):188-193. Pubmedid: 16885914.
  • Torres-Roca JF, Eschrich S, Zhao H, Bloom G, Sung J, McCarthy S, Cantor AB, Scuto A, Li C, Zhang S, Jove R, Yeatman T. Prediction of radiation sensitivity using a gene expression classifier. Cancer Res. 2005 Aug;65(16):7169-7176. Pubmedid: 16103067.
  • Torres-Roca J. Bladder preservation protocols in the treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Cancer Control. 2004;11(6):358-363. Pubmedid: 15625523.
  • Calvin D, Nam S, Buettner R, Sekharam M, Torres-Roca J, Jove R. Inhibition of STAT3 activity with STAT3 antisense oligonucleotide (STAT3-ASO) enhances radiation-induced apoptosis in DU145 prostate cancer cells. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003;57:S297-S297. Pubmedid: 12965611.
  • Calvin D, Nam S, Buettner R, Sekharam M, Torres-Roca J, Jove R. Inhibition of STAT3 activity with STAT3 antisense oligonucleotide (STAT3-ASO)enhances radiation-induced apoptosis in DU145 prostate cancer cells. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003;57:S297-S297. Pubmedid: 12965611.
  • Katsikis PD, Garcia-Ojeda ME, Torres-Roca JF, Tijoe IM, Smith CA, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. Interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme-like protease involvement in Fas-induced and activation-induced peripheral blood T cell apoptosis in HIV infection. TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand can mediate activation-induced T cell death in HIV infection. J Exp Med. 1997 Oct;186(8):1365-1372. Pubmedid: 9334376. Pmcid: PMC2199088.
  • Torres-Roca JF, Cantor AB, Shukla S, Montejo ME, Friedland J, Seigne JD, Heysek R, Heysek, Randy, Pow-Sang J. Treatment of intermediate-risk prostate cancer with brachytherapy without supplemental pelvic radiotherapy: a review of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center experience. Urol Oncol. 2006 Sept - Oct;24(5):384-390.
  • Heysek R, Gwede C, Torres-Roca J, Cantor A, Kelley S, Saini A, Pow-Sang J. A dosimetric analysis of unstranded seeds versus customized stranded seeds in transperineal interstitial permanent prostate seed brachytherapy. Brachytherapy. 5(4):244-250. Pubmedid: 17118318.
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