Max Wicha, M.D.

Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology, Founding Director Emeritus, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center


As founding director of the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Wicha is responsible for coordinating all cancer activities related to research and patient care.  Dr. Wicha is nationally known for his research in the field of breast oncology. His lab was part of the team that first discovered stem cells in breast cancer, the first described in any human solid tumor.  Since then, Dr. Wicha has become one of the leading experts on cancer stem cells. Dr. Wicha is also active as a clinician, specializing in the treatment of breast cancer patients.

Research Interests

Effects of extracellular matrix components on cell growth and differentiation. Cancer stem cells


Pan Q, Wang Q, Dan J, Pan K, Li Y, Zhang Y , Zhao J, Weng D, Tang Y, Huang L, He J, Chen S, Ke M, CHen M, Wicha MS, Chang A, Zeng Y, Li Q, Xia J. A Nomogram for Predicting the Benefit of Adjuvant Cytokine-Induced Killer Cell Immunotherapy in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Brooks M, Wicha MS. Tumor Twitter: Cellular Communication in the Breast Cancer Stem Cell Niche. Cancer Discovery. 2015 May 4; 5(5), 469-71. DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-15-0327

Lu L, Tao H, Chang A, Hu Y, Shu G, Chen Q, Egenti M, Owen J, Moyer J, Prince M, Huang S, Wicha MS, Xia J, Li Q. Cancer stem cells vaccine inhibits metastases of primary tumors and induces humoral immue responses against cancer stem cells. OncoImmunology. 2015 May 1; 4:3, e990767, DOI: 10.4161/2162402X.2014.990767

Pan Q, Li Q, Liu S, Ning N, Zhang Z, Xu, Chang AE, Wicha MS. Targeting Cancer Stem Cells Using Immunologic Approaches. Stem Cells. 2015 Apr 15. PubMed PMID: 25873269

Conley SJ, Baker TL, Burnett JP, Theisen RL, Lazarus D, Peters CG, Clouthier SG, Eliasof S, Wicha MS. CRLX101, an investigational camptothecin-containing nanoparticle-drug conjugate, targets cancer stem cells and impedes resistance to antiangiogenic therapy in mouse models of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 25833208

Ke J, Zhao Z, Hong SH, Bai S, He Z, Malik F, Xu J, Zhou L, Chen W, Martin-Trevino R, Wu X, Lan P, Yi Y, Ginestier C, Ibarra I, Shang L, McDermott S, Luther T, Clouthier SG, Wicha MS, Liu S. Role of microRNA221 in regulating normal mammary epithelial hierarchy and breast cancer stem-like cells.Oncotarget. 2015 Jan 21. PubMed PMID: 2568682

D'Angelo RC, Ouzounova M, Davis A, Choi D, Tchuenkam SM, Kim G, Luther T, Quraishi AA, Senbabaoglu Y, Conley SJ, Clouthier SG, Hassan KA, Wicha MS, Korkaya H. Notch reporter activity in breast cancer cell lines identifies a subset of cells with stem cell activity. Mol Cancer Ther. 2015 Feb 11. PubMed PMID: 25673823.

Liu Y, Chen C, Qian P, Lu X, Sun B, Zhang X, Wang L, Gao X, Li H, Chen Z, Tang J, Zhang W, Dong J, Bai R, Lobie PE, Wu Q, Liu S, Zhang H, Zhao F, Wicha MS, Zhu T, Zhao Y. Gd-metallofullerenol nanomaterial as non-toxic breast cancer stem cell-specific inhibitor. Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 23. PubMed PMID: 25612916

Zhang Z, Shiratsuchi H, Lin J, Chen G, Reddy RM, Azizi E, Fouladdel S, Chang AC, Lin L, Jiang H, Waghray M, Luker G, Simeone DM, Wicha MS, Beer DG, Ramnath N, Nagrath S. Expansion of CTCs from early stage lung cancer patients using a microfluidic co-culture model. Oncotarget. 2014 Dec 15. PubMed PMID: 25474037.

Luo M, Brooks M, Wicha MS. Epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity of breast cancer stem cells: implications for metastasis and therapeutic resistance. Curr Pharm Des. 2014 Dec 11. PubMed PMID: 25506895.

Murlidhar V, Zeinali M, Grabauskiene S, Ghannad-Rezaie M, Wicha MS, Simeone DM, Ramnath N, Reddy RM, Nagrath S. A radial flow microfluidic device for ultra-high throughput affinity-based isolation of circulating tumor cells. Small. 2014 Dec. PubMed PMID: 25074448.