Richard Hurwitz

Richard Hurwitz, MD

Associate Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Richard Hurwitz received his M.D. degree from Albany Medical College. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Hurwitz completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Minnesota. He studies the potential use of gene therapy for the treatment of ocular diseases.

He has developed a treatment for retinoblastoma using suicide gene therapy that is currently in clinical trials. To further refine this therapeutic option, Dr. Hurwitz is studying the cellular origin of retinoblastoma and the differences between invasive and non-invasive forms of the disease.

In addition, he is also using in vivo models of retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration to develop gene therapy treatments for retinal degenerative diseases. The mechanism of adenoviral-mediated transgene expression in the ocular environment is being explored with the goals of identifying molecular targets to modulate adenoviral-mediated gene therapy for both retinoblastoma and retinal degenerative diseases.


Description of Research

The Hurwitz laboratory studies the use of gene therapy in the treatment of ocular disease. Retinoblastoma is the most common malignant intraocular tumor of children and is caused by mutations in the retinoblastoma gene.

Using a model of this disease, they have shown that suicide gene therapy using an adenoviral vector to deliver the herpes thymidine kinase gene followed by treatment with ganciclovir can ablate tumors. Based on these studies, an FDA- and RAC-approved clinical trial was opened to investigate the use of this therapy for children with retinoblastoma.

Areas Of Expertise

Retinoblastoma Gene therapy Hematology

Novel dose escalation to predict treatment with hydroxyurea (NDEPTH): A randomized controlled trial of a dose-prediction equation to determine maximum tolerated dose of hydroxyurea in pediatric sickle cell disease
George, A, Dinu, B, Estrada, N, Minard, CG, Hurwitz, R, Mahoney, DH, Yates, AM, Vaughan, M, Carmouche, A, Airewele, G, Kirk, SE, Fasipe, T, Uwaezuoke, P & Ware, RE 2020, , American Journal of Hematology, vol. 95, no. 9, pp. E242-E244.

Inhibitors of metalloprotease, ?-sectretase, protein kinase C and Rho kinase inhibit wild-type adenoviral replication
Liu, A, Ildefonso, CJ, Bond, WS, Hurwitz, MY & Hurwitz, RL 2020, , PLoS ONE, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. e0236175.

Versican G1 domain enhances adenoviral-mediated transgene expression and can be modulated by inhibitors of the Janus kinase (JAK)/STAT and Src family kinase pathways
Akinfenwa, PY, Bond, WS, Ildefonso, CJ, Hurwitz, MY & Hurwitz, R 2017, , Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 292, no. 35, pp. 14381-14390.

Intravenous injection of oncolytic picornavirus SVV-001 prolongs animal survival in a panel of primary tumor-based orthotopic xenograft mouse models of pediatric glioma
Liu, Z, Zhao, X, Mao, H, Baxter, PA, Huang, Y, Yu, L, Wadhwa, L, Su, JM, Adesina, A, Perlaky, L, Hurwitz, M, Idamakanti, N, Police, SR, Hallenbeck, PL, Hurwitz, RL, Lau, CC, Chintagumpala, M, Blaney, SM & Li, XN 2013, , Neuro-oncology, vol. 15, no. 9, pp. 1173-1185.

Tumorspheres but Not Adherent Cells Derived from Retinoblastoma Tumors Are of Malignant Origin
Bond, WS, Akinfenwa, PY, Perlaky, L, Hurwitz, MY, Hurwitz, R & Chévez-Barrios, P 2013, , PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 6, e63519.

A new vision of mesenchymal stromal cells
Hurwitz, RL 2012, , Molecular Therapy, vol. 20, no. 11, pp. 2017-2018.

The liberation of CD44 intracellular domain modulates adenoviral vector transgene expression
Ildefonso, CJ, Bond, WS, Al-Tawashi, AR, Hurwitz, MY & Hurwitz, R 2012, , Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 287, no. 39, pp. 32697-32707.

Embryonic retinal tumors in SV40 T-Ag transgenic mice contain CD133+ Tumor-initiating cells
Wadhwa, L, Bond, WS, Perlaky, L, Overbeek, PA, Hurwitz, MY, Chévez-Barrios, P & Hurwitz, R 2012, , Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, vol. 53, no. 7, pp. 3454-3462.

Establishment and propagation of human retinoblastoma tumors in immune deficient mice
Bond, WS, Wadhwa, L, Perlaky, L, Penland, RL, Hurwitz, MY, Hurwitz, R & Chévez-Barrios, P 2011, , Journal of Visualized Experiments, no. 54, e2644.

A single intravenous injection of oncolytic picornavirus SVV-001 eliminates medulloblastomas in primary tumor-based orthotopic xenograft mouse models
Yu, L, Baxter, PA, Zhao, X, Liu, Z, Wadhwa, L, Zhang, Y, Su, JMF, Tan, X, Yang, J, Adesina, A, Perlaky, L, Hurwitz, M, Idamakanti, N, Police, SR, Hallenbeck, PL, Blaney, SM, Chintagumpala, M, Hurwitz, R & Li, XN 2011, , Neuro-oncology, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 14-27.

Absence of systemic immune response to adenovectors after intraocular administration to children with retinoblastoma
Ildefonso, CJ, Kong, L, Leen, A, Chai, SJ, Petrochelli, V, Chintagumpala, M, Hurwitz, MY, Chévez-Barrios, P & Hurwitz, R 2010, , Molecular Therapy, vol. 18, no. 10, pp. 1885-1890.

Treatment of invasive retinoblastoma in a murine model using an oncolytic picornavirus
Wadhwa, L, Hurwitz, MY, Chévez-Barrios, P & Hurwitz, R 2007, , Cancer research, vol. 67, no. 22, pp. 10653-10656.

Retinoblastoma: Review of current management
Chintagumpala, M, Chévez-Barrios, P, Paysse, EA, Plon, SE & Hurwitz, R 2007, , Oncologist, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 1237-1246.

Modulation of adenoviral transduction in vitro and in vivo by hyaluronan and its receptor CD44
Chaudhuri, SR, Mallam, JN, Chévez-Barrios, P, Wadhwa, L, Ng, P, Hurwitz, MY & Hurwitz, R 2007, , Molecular Therapy, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 566-570.

Extensively necrotic retinoblastoma is associated with high-risk prognostic factors
Chong, EM, Coffee, RE, Chintagumpala, M, Hurwitz, R, Hurwitz, MY & Chévez-Barrios, P 2006, , Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, vol. 130, no. 11, pp. 1669-1672.

Response of retinoblastoma with vitreous tumor seeding to adenovirus-mediated delivery of thymidine kinase followed by ganciclovir
Chévez-Barrios, P, Chintagumpala, M, Mieler, W, Paysse, E, Boniuk, M, Kozinetz, C, Hurwitz, MY & Hurwitz, RL 2005, , Journal of Clinical Oncology, vol. 23, no. 31, pp. 7927-7935.

Efficient gene transfer into retinal cells using adenoviral vectors: Dependence on receptor expression
Mallam, JN, Hurwitz, MY, Mahoney, T, Chévez-Barrios, P & Hurwitz, R 2004, , Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 1680-1687.

Retinoblastoma: From bench to bedside
Hurwitz, R, Chévez-Barrios, P, Boniuk, M, Chintagumpala, M & Hurwitz, MY 2003, , Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine, vol. 5, no. 1.

Letter to the editor (multiples letters)
Hurwitz, RL 2001, Molecular Therapy, vol 4, no. 1. DOI: 10.1006/mthe.2001.0421

Autologous antileukemic immune response induced by chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells expressing the CD40 ligand and interleukin 2 transgenes
Takahashi, S, Rousseau, RF, Yotnda, P, Mei, Z, Dotti, G, Rill, D, Hurwitz, R, Marini, F, Andreeff, M & Brenner, MK 2001, , Human Gene Therapy, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 659-670.