The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Translational Molecular Pathology
The current research interest of my laboratory is to understand prostate cancer bone metastasis. Advanced prostate cancer (PCa) often metastasizes to distant organ sites, with bone being the most commonly affected site. Development of metastasis in bone implies poor prognosis and poor quality of life for the patient. The ultimate goal of our research effort is to develop strategies that will lead to early diagnosis and prevention of metastasis of prostate cancer to bone.
One current focus of our research is to identify adhesion molecules that mediate the interactions between the metastatic PCa cells and osteoblasts in the bone. These adhesion molecules likely play a role in the initial phase of bone metastasis and can be developed as predictive markers of PCa metastasis in bone. Furthermore, antibodies or other agents that block the adhesion between prostate cancer cells and osteoblasts may prevent the metastasis of PCa cells to bone.
Another focus of our research is to identify factors involved in the interactions between prostate cancer cells and osteoblasts. The osteoblastic nature of most prostate cancer bone lesions suggests the existence of bidirectional communications between the prostate cancer cells and the bone microenvironment. We hypothesize that factors secreted by the prostate cancer cells that affect osteoblast growth and differentiation could be involved in the growth of prostate cancer in bone. We are using proteomic approaches to identify factors in the bone marrow samples from prostate cancer patients that may play significant roles in the growth of prostate cancer cells in bone.
A tutorial in this laboratory will provide training in protein purification, molecular and cell biology techniques including generation of recombinant retrovirus, adenovirus, expression of proteins in mammalian and insect cell systems, antibody production, immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, and primary osteoblast isolation.
Education & Training
PhD, Brown University, 1984