Setsuko K. Chambers, MD


Director of Women's Cancers

Bobbi Olson Endowed Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research

Program co-leader, Cancer Biology & Genetics Program, The University of Arizona Cancer Center

Professor and Director of Gynecologic Oncology

Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Arizona

Phone Number: 
(520) 626-0950
(520) 626-8574
Patient Appointments: 
(520) 626-9285
Short Bio: 

Dr. Chambers received her BS and MD degrees from Brown University. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Yale University. She remained at Yale as a member of the faculty until 2004. During her tenure at Yale, she was Director of the Gynecologic Oncology fellowship program and, until recently, was the only woman professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Throughout her career, Dr. Chambers has served on many national and regional committees, grant review panels and study sections. She is an examiner for the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and has served as President of the New England Association of Gynecologic Oncologists. She has authored over 80 peer reviewed publications and chapters.

Dr. Chambers is one of the few gynecologic oncologist physician-scientists in the country, active as both a researcher and clinical gynecologic oncologist, evaluating oncology patients at The University of Arizona Cancer Center. Her research laboratory, which is funded by both the National Cancer Institute and Department of Defense, is devoted to understanding the molecular basis for breast and ovarian cancer invasion and metastasis.

Dr. Chambers moved to Tucson to become director of the newly created Division of Women's Cancers at The University of Arizona Cancer Center. Her current role is to develop a comprehensive Women's Cancers program, encompassing both research and clinical practice in the areas of breast and gynecologic cancers. Her multidisciplinary division is comprised of gynecologic oncologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and translational and basic science researchers. Collectively, these experts seek to deliver exemplary, cutting-edge care to women throughout the Southwest who either have cancer or are at risk for developing this disease.

Clinical Information
Gynecologic Oncologist
Clinical Focus: 
  • Ovarian Cancers
  • Uterine, Cervical, Vaginal, Vulvar Cancers
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease
  • High-Risk Cancer Screening
  • Complicated Gynecologic Surgery
  • Rare, Unusual Cancers
  • Second Opinions
Clinical Practice Sites: 
The University of Arizona Cancer Center - North Campus
The University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus
Research Information
Research Program: 
3. Cancer Biology
Member Status: 
Year of Membership Acceptance: 
University of Arizona
Summary of Research Activity: 
  • CSF-1 and its role in neoplastic progression of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Androgens and neoplastic transformation of normal ovarian surface epithelium
  • The c-fms proto-oncogene and breast cancer invasiveness
Selected Publications: 

Chambers SK, Kacinski BM, Ivins CM, Carcangiu ML.  Overexpression of epithelial CSF-1 and CSF-1 receptor: a poor prognostic factor in epithelial ovarian cancer; contrasted to a protective effect of stromal CSF-1.  Clin Cancer Res.  1997;3:999-1007.

Chambers SK, Chambers JT, Schwartz PE , Kohorn EI, Lorber MI, Handschumacher RE, Pizzorno G. Pharmacokinetic and phase I trial of intraperitoneal carboplatin and cyclosporine A in refractory gynecologic cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 1997;15:1945-1952.

Chambers SK , Ivins CM, Kacinski BM, Hochberg RB. An unexpected effect of glucocorticoids on stimulation of c-fms proto-oncogene expression in choriocarcinoma cells expressing little glucocorticoid receptor. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;190:974-85.

Tangir J, Bonafe N, Gilmore-Hebert M, Chambers SK . SGK-1, a potential regulator of c-fms related breast cancer aggressiveness. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2004;21:477-483.

Toy EP, Bonafe N, Savlu A, Zeiss C, Zheng W, Flick M, Chambers SK . Correlation of tumor phenotype with c-fms proto-oncogene expression in an in vivo intraperitoneal model for experimental human breast cancer metastasis. Clin Exp Metastasis. 2005;22(1):1-9.

Bonafe N, Gilmore-Hebert M, Folk NL, Azoudi M, Zhou Y, Chambers SK . Gyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate dehydrogenase binds to the AU-rich 3' untranslated region of colony-stimulating factor-1 messenger RNA in human ovarian cancer cells: possible role in colony-stimulating factor-1 posttranscriptional regulation and tumor phenotype. Cancer Res. 2005 May 1;65(9):3762-3771.

Chambers SK . Systematic lymphadenectomy in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: two decades of uncertainty resolved. J Natl Cancer Ins. 2005; 97(8):548-549.

Fadare O, Liang SX, Ulukus EC, Chambers SK, Zheng W. Putative Precursors of endometrial clear cell carcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol 30(12):1519-1530, 2006.

Zheng W, Liang SX, Yi X, Ulukus EC, Davis JR, Chambers SK. Occurrence of endometrial glandular dysplasia precedes uterine papillary serous carcinoma. Int J Gynecol Pathol 26(1):38-52, 2007.

Zhou Y, Yi X, Stoffer JB, Bonafe N, Gilmore-Hebert M, McAlpine J, Chambers SK. The multifunctional protein glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is both regulated and controls CSF-1 mRNA stability in ovarian cancer. Mol Cancer Res 6(8):1375-84, 2008. NIHMSID 72748.

Yi X, Zhou Y, Zheng W, Chambers SK. HuR expression in the nucleus correlates with high histologic grade and poor disease-free survival in ovarian cancer. In press, Aust NZ J Obstet Gynaecol 49(1), 2009

Woo HH, Zhou Y, Yi X, David CL, Zheng W, Li R, Gilmore-Hebert, M, Kluger HM, Ulukus EC, Baker T, Stoffer JB, Chambers SK. Regulation of non AU-rich element containing c-fms proto-oncogene expression by HuR in breast cancer. Oncogene 28:1176-86, 2009.

Toy EP, Azodi MA, Folk NL, Zito CM, Zeiss CJ, Chambers SK. Enhanced ovarian cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis by the macrophage colony stimulating factor (CSF-1). Neoplasia 11(2):136-144, 2009.

Chambers SK, Clouser MC, Baker AF, Roe DJ, Cui H, Brewer MB, Hatch KD, Gordon MS, Janicek MF, Isaacs JD, Gordon AN, Nagle RB, Wright HM, Cohen JL, Alberts DS.  Overexpression of tissue VEGF-A may portend an increased likelihood of progression in a phase II trial of bevacizumab and erlotinib in women with resistant ovarian cancer.  Clin Cancer Res 16(21):5320-8, 2010.

Hess LM, Chambers SK, Hatch K, Hallum A, Janicek M, Buscema J, Borst M, Calley C, Slayton L, Chongpison Y, Alberts DS.  Pilot study of prospective identification of changes in cognitive function during chemotherapy treatment for advanced ovarian cancer. J Support Oncol 8:252-8, 2010.

Toy EP, Lamb T, Azodi M, Roy WJ, Woo HH and Chambers SK.  Inhibition of the c-fms proto-oncogene autocrine loop and tumor phenotype in glucocorticoid stimulated human breast carcinoma cells.  Breast Cancer Res Treat, DOI 10.1007/s10549-010-1247-7 (published on line ahead of print 10 November 2010).

Woo HH, Yi X, Lamb T, Menzl I, Baker T, Shapiro DJ, Chambers SK.  Post-transcriptional suppression of proto-oncogene c-fms expression by vigilin in breast cancer.  Mol Cell Biol 31(1):215-25, 2011. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

McCaffrey R, Bahtiyar M, Kohorn EI, Chambers JT, Schwartz PE, Chambers SK.  Neoadjuvant and Adjuvant Chemotherapy of Cervical Cancer: Mature Results of the Phase II PBM-PFU Protocol.  Int H Gynecol Cancer 21(3); 535-544, 2011.

Lin J, Yi X, Zhang Z, Zhuang Z, Li J, Chambers SK, Kong B, Zheng W. Prohibitin as a novel target protein of luteinizing hormone in ovarian epithelial carrcinogenesis.  Neoplasm 58(2); 104-109, 2011.

Li J, Abushahin N, Pang S, Xiang L, Chambers SK, Fadare O, Kong B, Zheng W. Tubal origin of “ovarian” low-grade serous carcinoma. Modern Pathol, 1-12, 2011 (published on line ahead of print doi:10.1038/modpathol.2011.106.


Chambers SK and Hess LM. Ovarian Cancer Prevention. In Alberts, Hess (Eds), Fundamentals of Cancer Prevention, Second Edition, Springer-Verlag: Heidelberg, pgs 447-473, 2008.

Garcia FA and Chambers SK. Endometrial Cancer Prevention. In Alberts, Hess (Eds), Fundamentals of Cancer Prevention, Second Edition, Springer-Verlag: Heidelberg, pgs 475-494, 2008.

Hess LM, Chambers SK, Alberts DS. Role of intraperitoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. In: DeVita, Lawrence, and Rosenberg (eds), Principles and Practice of Oncology Updates, Eighth edition, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, New York, NY, Vol 22(5): 1-8, 2008.

Clouser M, Hess LM, Chambers SK. Biomarker Targets and Novel Therapeutics. In M.S. Stack, D.A. Fishman (Eds), Ovarian Cancer, Cancer Treatment and Research 149, chapter 4, Springer, New York, NY, US, 2009.

Chamber SK. Role of CSF-1 in the progression of ovarian cancer. Future Oncol, October 2009

Collaborative Research: 

Collaborative work with Patrick W. Mantyh, Professor, Pharmacology, University of Arizona, on the molecular targeting of breast cancer bone pain and metastasis.

Collaborative work with Roy R. Parker, PhD, Regents Professor and Howard Hughes Investigator, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Arizona, Joan A. Steitz, PhD, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, and Imed Gallouzi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, McGill University on post-transcriptional gene regulation, 3' UTR RNA binding proteins.

Collaborative work with Wenxin Zheng, MD, Professor of Pathology, Director of Molecular Pathology, now at University of Arizona, on the molecular pathogenesis of uterine papillary serous carcinoma, and on the hormonal etiology of ovarian cancer. 

Professional Information
Board Certifications: 
  • Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, 1981
  • Board Certified, American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1987
  • Board Certified, American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, 1988
  • Recertification, American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology, 1997,  2007, 2008, 2009 
Professional Affiliations: 


• Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, 1995 Scientific Program Committee.
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation, 1996 Task Force on strengthening
   basic research in academic departments.
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Program Committee, 1997-1998,
  2001, 2002, Senior Reviewer 2001, 2005, 2008.
• New England Association of Gynecologic Oncologists, Secretary-Treasurer,
• New England Association of Gynecologic Oncologists, President-Elect,
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Session Chair, Invited Lectures,
   March 2000.
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Nominating Committee, 2000.
• New England Association of Gynecologic Oncologists, President, 2001.
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Membership Committee, 2002-2005.
• Faculty, ACOG course “Controversies in Gynecology”, February 2002, Los
  Cabos, Mexico.
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation, Nominating Committee, 2003.
• Faculty, ACOG course “Controversies in Gynecology”, June 2003, Victoria,
  British Columbia.
• Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, 2002, 2003, Candidate and Fellow
  Career Development Forum; Mentoring on Grantsmanship
• American Society of Clinical Oncology, Scientific Program Committee, 2003-
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation, 2004 Program Committee Subsection
• American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, member 2003.
• American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation
  (AAOGF) Endowment Fund Committee, member 2004-2007; second term  
• Faculty, ACOG course “Controversies in Gynecology”, December 2004,
  Chicago, IL.
• Faculty, Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, Miami, FL, March 2005, post-
  graduate course “Molecular Biology for Dummies.”
• Faculty, ACOG course “Gynecologic Oncology for the Generalist”, May
  2005, San Francisco, CA.
• Faculty, ACOG course “Gynecologic Oncology for the Generalist”, May
  2006, Washington, DC.
• Course Director, 37th Annual Tucson Seminar, ‘Focus on Women’s Cancers’,
   January 2006, Tucson, AZ.
• Course Director, 37th Annual Tucson Seminar, ‘Focus on Women’s Cancers,
   Nursing Conference’, January 2006, Tucson, AZ.
• Course Director, ACOG course “Gynecologic Oncology for the Generalist”,
  2007-2009 (gave this up).
• American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, Council, 2007-2010.
• Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, abstract reviewer, 2007.
• Southwest Oncology Group, Gynecology Committee member, 2007-present. • Gynecologic Oncology Group, affiliate site Principal Investigator, 2008-


• American Society of Clinical Oncology (1987);
• American Association for Cancer Research (1988);
• American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (Junior Fellow 1981; Fellow 
• American Medical Women's Association (1990);
• New England Association of Gynecologic Oncologists (1989);
• Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (1990);
• International Gynecologic Cancer Society (1991);
• Society for Gynecologic Investigation (1993);
• American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society (AGOS, 2003);
• Gynecologic Oncology Group (2003), Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG,  2007).


• 1988-1990 Reproductive Scientist Development Program Award from NICHD
   and ACOG
• 1990-1993 NIH-RO3-HD Award
• 1993-1996 NIH-KO8-Award
• 1993-1995 NIH-R55 Award
• 1995-2002 NIH-R29 Award
• 1999-2001 Mary Kay Ash Foundation Award
• 2002-2006 DOD 17-02-1-0633 Award
• 2002-2009 NIH-R01CA097347
• Oral Board Examiner, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1999-
• Department of Defense Study Section Reviewer for the Ovarian, Breast,
  and Prostate Cancer Research Programs 1999-2005
• NCI, Ad-hoc reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel, Insight Award-Stamp Out
  Breast Cancer, 2000
• New England Association of Gynecologic Oncologists, Secretary/Treasurer
  1996-1999, President, 2001
• Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM), AAMC, 2004-2005
• NIH Tumor Microenvironment study section ad-hoc reviewer 2005
• Bobbi Olson Endowed Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research, 2005
• Best Doctors in America, 2005-2006.
• Best Doctors in America, 2007-2008
• America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, 2008.
• NIH SPORE study section ad-hoc reviewer 2008, 2009
• Council member, American Gynecologic and Obstetrical Society 2007-10
• Member, Institute of Medicine 2009

Ongoing Awards:

Cancer Center Core Grant, Alberts (PI)
My role is as the program co-leader for the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program.

• Better than Ever Women's Cancers Research Grant
A model for human breast cancer-inducted bone pain, Chambers and Mantyh (co-PIs)
The major goal of the project is to develop the first in vivo model for bone pain from human breast cancer metastasis.

• 5R01 CA115780
Diagnosis of ovarian cancer by confocal microscopy, Gmitro (PI)
The major goals of the project are to develop novel imaging technology of ovarian and tubal epithelium, and apply these to a feasibility study of normal, high risk, and malignant ovaries and fallopian tubes at the time of surgery. My role as co-PI is in the clinical trial.

Better than Ever Women's Cancers Research Grant
Androgens and the development of ovarian cancer, Chambers (PI)
07/04-present (clinical trial component ongoing)
The major goal is to perform a phase II biomarker trial of anti-androgen in women at risk for ovarian cancer.

• 10-093-26-11 (Kyowa Hakko Kirin Pharma, Inc., Protocol 2866 US-001) Chambers (Site PI of phase 1b)
Open-Label, Multicenter Phase 1 Study of Anti-Heparin-Binding Epidermal Growth Factor-Like Growth Factor (HB-EGF) Monoclonal Antibody KHK2866 as Monotherapy in Subjects with Advanced Solid Tumors and in Combination with Chemotherapy for Epithelial Ovarian, Extra-Ovarian Primary Peritoneal, or Fallopian Tube Cancer

• 10-0805-11 (Endocyte protocol EC-FV-06), Chambers (Site PI)
A Randomized Double-Blind Phase 3 Trial Comparing EC145 and Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin (PLD/Doxil/Caelyx) in Combination versus PLD in Participants with Platinum-resistant Ovarian Cancer

• Gynecologic Oncology Group Affiliate, Chambers (PI)
Affiliate of Roswell Park Cancer Institute Site, to open and accrue on clinical trials for gynecologic cancer patients, 2009-present.

• Investigator initiated trial (Cephalon), Chambers (PI)
Phase II trial of Bendamustine in women with refractory ovarian cancer, open April 2009-present.

• Investigator initiated trial (Lilly), Chambers (PI)
Phase I open label trial of Alimta plus cisplatin and paclitaxel given intraperitoneally as first line treatment for women with stage III ovarian cancer, open October 2007-present.

• Investigator initiated trial, Chambers (PI)
Prospective Phase IIb study of effect of flutamide taken for 6 weeks on expression of potential biomarkers of flutamide action in ovaries of women at increased risk for ovarian cancer, January 2005-present.  Initial funding Better than Ever Women's Cancers Research Grant.

Academic Information
Yale University School of Medicine - Gynecologic/Oncology, 1986
Yale-New Haven Hospital - Obstetrics/Gynecology, 1984
Medical School: 
Brown University Program in Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island - MD, 1980
Undergraduate School: 
Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island - BS Biology, 1977