Igor Astsaturov, MD, PhD

Doctor Astsatutov photo

Clinical Locations

Primary Location

Fox Chase Cancer Center
333 Cottman Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111


Treatment Focus

Gastrointestinal cancers, Neuroendocrine carcinomas

Research Program

Language(s) Other than English


Treatment Philosophy

I chose to stay at Fox Chase as an attending physician for the love of the institutional environment and the great patients I am so privileged to treat. I love my work for the great team spirit cultivated among my colleagues, physicians and nurses. I am extremely grateful to the fact that patients are at the center of everybody’s attention. It is easy for me to do my job in such an atmosphere of concern and indefatigable compassion.

Fox Chase also offers me an opportunity to work both in the clinic and in the lab, where I am studying cancer biology with the goal to design better treatment options for the patients. In my field of gastrointestinal malignancies, I am convinced that the treatment choices for each individual cancer patient will soon be defined by the molecular makeup of their cancer cells. This knowledge can help us match the treatment strategies with the biology of individual patient’s tumors. I am interested to translate the knowledge about cancer available in the lab to the clinic by conducting hypothesis-driven clinical trials.

I am deeply convinced that the best way to help our patients is to push the boundaries by doing clinical and basic research.


Mechanisms of resistance to anti-EGFR agents


Education and Training

Educational Background

  • Fellow, Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2005-2008
  • Intern and Resident, Internal Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, MD, 2002-2005
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Immunology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1998-2002
  • Resident, Internal Medicine/Hematology, Russian Hematological Research Center, Moscow, Russia, 1992-1994
  • MD, I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Moscow, 1992
  • PhD, Russian Academy Research Center for Hematology, Moscow, 1997


  • American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Medical Oncology Certification
  • Unrestricted Medical License MD427094, Pennsylvania State Medical Board


  • Member, Laboratory Science Committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Ad hoc Junior Faculty member, NCI Esophago-Gastric Cancer Taskforce

Honors & Awards

  • Training Award (ICRETT), International Union Against Cancer, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Scholar-in-Training Award, AACR-OSI
  • Sol Sherry Research Award, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Fox Chase-Genentech Scholar, Fox Chase Cancer Center
Patient Stories

Andre Burke

Pancreatic Cancer

Andre Burke

Pancreatic Cancer

I often share my story and always encourage people who feel something is wrong to go to the doctor to get checked out. If you wait too long, it may be too late. I am thankful that I took that advice.

Barry Dixon

Neuroendocrine Tumors

Barry Dixon

Neuroendocrine Tumors

In September 2009, Barry Dixon was living and working in South Carolina with his fiancé and their son, Robert Phillip. As a maintenance technician for an apartment management firm, Barry performed a lot of physical labor. One day, while helping his cousin move, Barry thought he pulled something in his abdominal area. It caused more pain than he was used to. He went to the doctor on a Friday, who ordered further testing for the following Monday.

Research Profile

Research Program

Research Interests

Cancer Metabolism and signaling

  • The central role for sterol metabolism in regulation of cell growth and signaling
  • Pancreatic cancer biology and "smart drugs" for treatment of pancreatic cancer
  • Translating therapeutic concepts to the clinic using the platform of patient-derived avatar models and genetically engineered pancreatic cancer models

Lab Overview

My lab opened in 2009 endowed with the challenge to define the critical regulators of tumor cell response to drugs targeting EGFR (Astsaturov, Science Signaling, 2010). From this initial task which ultimately led to 2 clinical trials in patients with head and neck and lung cancers, 3 NIH grants and 6 papers, we define a previously overlooked step of C4-demethylation in the enzymatic cascade of cholesterol biosynthesis. Inactivation of SC4MOL or NSDHL involved in the oxidative demethylation at C4 leads to dramatic alteration in the vesicular trafficking of the endocytosed EGFR and sensitizes cancer cells to EGFR inhibitors (Sukhanova, Cancer Discovery, 2013).

Following this initial lead, Linara Gabitova took on the challenge to pinpoint the mechanism executing such a dramatic effect of accumulating C4-methylated sterols. She found that LXR alpha was the critical effector triggered by these sterol species, so that activation of LXR can be used to deregulate cholesterol turnover in cancer synergistically with EGFR antagonists in in the KRAS-driven tumors (Cell Reports, 2015).

Our current interests are focused on pancreatic cancer where KRAS is the causative oncogenic mutation. We are looking for metabolic vulnerabilities in the cholesterol pathway as well as developing innovative drug delivery tools to improve lives of the patient with this devastating and thus far recalcitrant cancer.

Former Staff

Andrei Gorin, PhD

Anna Sukhanova, PhD

Eugenia Banina, MD

Lab Staff

Linara Gabitova, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Room: W462

Diana Restifo, BS

Scientific Technician

Room: W462

Egor Bobrov, BS

Graduate student

Room: W462

Selected Publications

Gabitova L, Restifo D, Gorin A, Manocha K, Handorf E, Yang DH, Cai KQ, Klein-Szanto AJ, Cunningham D, Kratz LE, Herman GE, Golemis EA, Astsaturov I. Endogenous Sterol Metabolites Regulate Growth of EGFR/KRAS-Dependent Tumors via LXR. Cell Rep. 2015 Sep 22;12(11):1927-38. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.08.023. Epub 2015 Sep 3. PubMed; PubMed Central 

Beeharry N, Banina E, Hittle J, Skobeleva N, Khazak V, Deacon S, Andrake M, Egleston BL, Peterson JR, Astsaturov I, Yen TJ. Re-purposing clinical kinase inhibitors to enhance chemosensitivity by overriding checkpoints. Cell Cycle.
2014;13(14):2172-91. doi: 10.4161/cc.29214. Epub 2014 Jun 23. PubMed; PubMed Central.

Perkins J, Boland P, Cohen SJ, Olszanski AJ, Zhou Y, Engstrom P, Astsaturov I. Successful imatinib therapy for neuroendocrine carcinoma with activating Kit mutation: a case study. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2014 Jun;12(6):847-52. PubMed; PubMed Central.

Gabitova L, Gorin A, Astsaturov I. Molecular pathways: sterols and receptor signaling in cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Jan 1;20(1):28-34. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0122. Epub 2013 Oct 24. Review. PubMed;PubMed Central.

Liu H, Xiao F, Serebriiskii IG, O'Brien SW, Maglaty MA, Astsaturov I, Litwin S, Martin LP, Proia DA, Golemis EA, Connolly DC. Network analysis identifies an HSP90-central hub susceptible in ovarian cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Sep 15;19(18):5053-67. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-1115. Epub 2013 Jul 30. PubMed; PubMed Central.

Bagnyukova TV, Restifo D, Beeharry N, Gabitova L, Li T, Serebriiskii IG, Golemis EA, Astsaturov I. DUSP6 regulates drug sensitivity by modulating DNA damage response. Br J Cancer. 2013 Aug 20;109(4):1063-71. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.353. Epub 2013 Jul 9. PubMed; PubMed Central.

Sukhanova A, Gorin A, Serebriiskii IG, Gabitova L, Zheng H, Restifo D, Egleston BL, Cunningham D, Bagnyukova T, Liu H, Nikonova A, Adams GP, Zhou Y, Yang DH, Mehra R, Burtness B, Cai KQ, Klein-Szanto A, Kratz LE, Kelley RI, Weiner LM, Herman GE, Golemis EA, Astsaturov I. Targeting C4-demethylating genes in the cholesterol pathway sensitizes cancer cells to EGF receptor inhibitors via increased EGF receptor degradation. Cancer Discov. 2013 Jan;3(1):96-111. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-12-0031. Epub 2012 Nov 2. PubMed; PubMed Central.

Gorin A, Gabitova L, Astsaturov I. Regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis and cancer signaling. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2012 Dec;12(6):710-6. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2012.06.011. Epub 2012 Jul 21. Review. PubMedPubMed Central.

Dotan E, Meropol NJ, Zhu F, Zambito F, Bove B, Cai KQ, Godwin AK, Golemis EA, Astsaturov I, Cohen SJ. Relationship of increased aurora kinase A gene copy number, prognosis and response to chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Br J Cancer. 2012 Feb 14;106(4):748-55. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.587. Epub 2012 Jan 12. PubMed; PubMed Central.

Bagnyukova TV, Serebriiskii IG, Zhou Y, Hopper-Borge EA, Golemis EA, Astsaturov I. Chemotherapy and signaling: How can targeted therapies supercharge cytotoxic agents? Cancer Biol Ther. 2010 Nov 1;10(9):839-53. Epub 2010 Nov 1. Review. PubMed; PubMed Central.


Additional Publications




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4.9 / 5.0


  • 4.8
  • 4.7
  • 4.9
  • 5.0
  • 4.9


  • 5.0
    July 27, 2020
    Doctor Igor Astsaturov is very good doctor. He explained all my problem.
  • 5.0
    March 03, 2020
    Every time I visit Dr. Astsaturov I am confident that I will be treated with respect.
  • 5.0
    January 15, 2020
    Dr. Astsaturov is a huge asset to my cancer treatment. His knowledge gives you confidence when he is part of your cancer team.
  • 5.0
    October 16, 2019
    Dr. Igor is fantastic! The entire staff is as well.
  • 5.0
    September 02, 2019
    Dr. Igor Astsaturov is a wonderful doctor and person. I thank God everyday for him.
  • 5.0
    August 12, 2019
    As usual - I had a good experience.
  • 5.0
    August 12, 2019
    Dr. Astsaturov was extremely helpful, explained everything well and was knowledgeable with my cancer.
  • 5.0
    June 10, 2019

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