The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology
My Laboratory focuses on modeling and targeting the mechanisms of progression and therapy response in these bone metastatic cancers, with emphasis on the role of tumor-stroma bidirectional communication. Our multidisciplinary research program takes advantage of advanced tissue-engineered in vivo models, intravital multiphoton microscopy, 3D organotypic in vitro systems and computational oncology. We aim to apply these models to identify cellular and molecular determinants of response and resistance to targeted radiotherapy, immunotherapy and kinase inhibition, and to develop novel options for treatment, with the final goal of clinical translation to improve patient survival and quality of life.
Bone metastasis is a lethal consequence for prostate and renal cancer patients, mostly due to the emergence of resistance and therapy failure. The interaction between cancer and stromal cells has been recently identified as a key player in supporting both disease progression and treatment resistance. A major challenge in addressing this cooperation, however, is the lack of suitable model systems that exploit a bone-centric approach for testing therapeutic options. Thus, to reduce morbidity and eventually eliminate cancer, it is critical to establish biologically informed preclinical models that provide mechanistic understanding of tumor progression in bone and treatment outcomes.
Education & Training
PhD - UT MD Anderson Cancer Center - 2016