Eduardo Mendez, MD, MS, FACS

Eduardo Mendez, MD, MS, FACS

Associate Member
Clinical Research Division


Princeton University, 1994, BA
University of Maryland School of Medicine, 1999, MD
University of Washington, School of Public Heath, 2010, MS  

Research Focus:

Currently, Dr. Méndez research focuses on markers of disease progression in head and neck cancer. Despite advances in surgery and chemotherapy, survival rates for oral cancer have not improved in the past two decades. Once the disease spreads in the body, survival rates drop. Dr. Méndez published the first study that has identified a “genetic signature” for poor survival rates in patients with oral cancer, and one that addresses how genetic signatures compliment clinical information in predicting survival. He is looking to discover which genes are related specifically to the spread of oral cancer to other parts of the body. He will compare the genetics of tumors that have not spread with those that have. Dr Méndez is interested in the genetics of tumor cells and the mechanisms that allow tumor cells to spread. His results may one day allow physicians to predict which tumors are more likely to spread, information that will, in turn, affect treatment decisions. He also hopes to identify genetic vulnerabilities common to metastatic cells that can be exploited therapeutically.

“I am interested in the treatment of head and neck cancer, reconstruction of head and neck cancer defects, and minimally invasive approaches to tumors of the upper aerodigestive tract and thyroid including robotic-assisted surgery and transoral laser microsurgery. I am also interested in the genetics of head and neck cancer, and lead efforts to find new targeted therapies to help achieve a cure."

Clinical Expertise:

Dr. Mendez is an expert in the surgical treatment of head and neck cancers, including minimally invasive robotic surgery for tumors of the tongue and throat, microvascular reconstruction of the head and neck and thyroid cancers. He is an associate professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at University of Washington School of Medicine and an Assistant Member in the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Current Studies:

R01 CA215647-01A  (P.I.: Méndez, E.)  10/1/17-9/30/22          
Exploiting WEE1/p53 Synthetic Lethality as a Novel Therapy in Head and Neck Cancer
Our preclinical studies using an in vitro/in vivo pipeline have identified a p53 synthetic lethal interaction with several regulators of the G2/M cell cycle checkpoint. Our proposal will advance our understanding of these mechanisms as we seek to credential one of these regulators, WEE1, as a novel targeted therapy in HNSCC.
Role on Project: Principal Investigator

INDUS JUNO (M.P.I.:  Houghton, M, Méndez, E, Lee, S.)  6/1/16 - 5/31/18        
Juno Therapuetics, Inc.                                                                                       
Tumor Microenvironment Studies and TIL Therapeutics for HPV + Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The purpose of project is to this obtain tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) from HPV+ HNSCC cases for the purpose of engineering a TCR directed against HPV as a novel therapeutic. 
Role on Project:  Co-Principal Investigator; Sub-contract Principal Investigator

STTR  (P.I.: Méndez, E.)  1/1/16 - 12/31/19        
Therapeutically Targeting the Cell Cycle in Head and Neck Cancer
The goal of this project is to determine how defects in cell cycle regulation and repair of DNA damage can be used to develop targeted therapies for HNSCC.
Role on Project: Principal Investigator

R01 CA 177635-01A1  (P.I.:  Eadie, T.)  4/10/14 - 2/28/19
Communication Outcomes After Head and Neck Cancer
This research involves validation of a novel tool, the Communicative Participation Item Bank (CPIB), in HNC survivors. We are striving for outcome measures to demonstrate sensitivity and responsivity to changes over time. The development the CPIB also permits the study of the construct of communicative participation and determination of mediators, which has long-term treatment implications.
Role on Project:  Co-Investigator

INDUS MK-3475 (P.I.:  Chow, L.)  6/1/13 - 05/31/18        
MERK & CO.                                                                                                        
A Phase IB Multi-Cohort Study of MK-3475 in Subjects with Advanced Solid Tumors
To determine the safety and tolerability of MK-3475 in subjects with PD-L1 positive advanced solid tumors and to evaluate anti-tumor activity of MK-3475 in subjects with PD-L1 positive advanced solid tumors based on RECIST 1.1 assessed by independent radiology review.
Role on Project:  Co-Investigator

FDN RSG 13 0661 01 TBG  (P.I.:  Méndez E.)  1/1/13 - 12/31/17          
American Cancer Society                                                                                    
Integrative Genomics Approach TherapeuticTarget Selection in Oral Cancer Metastasis
The purpose of this grant is to identify genes whose expression is associated with abnormal copy number which are unique to metastatic oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).  In addition, this study will determine which of these candidate genes have the highest association with OSCC survival and which have the highest effect on cell survival and tumor biology in in vitro models of OSCC metastasis.
Role on Project:  Principal Investigator

Eduardo Mendez, MD

Contact Information

(206) 667-5765
Additional contact

Mail Stop: D5-280