Many Cancer Biology members have demonstrated significant accomplishments in cancer-related research. Notable scientific achievements made by six CB members in the past few years are highlighted below:
1. Christopher R. Chitambar MD, Professor, Department of Medicine/Hematology and Oncology
Developing gallium compounds that target iron proteins for use as novel cancer chemotherapeutic agents (Chitambar, Gallium-containing anticancer compounds, Future Med. Chem. 4:1257-1272, 2012).
Conducting a clinical trial to identify biomarkers and assess bioenergetic abnormalities in chemotherapy-induced fatigue of breast cancer patients (pilot grant funded by MCW Cancer Center, and new R01 application submitted June, 2013).
2. Howard J. Jacob PhD, Director, Human and Molecular Genetics Center and Professor, Department of Physiology
Promoting the use of whole-genome sequencing for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases (Jacob et al., Genomics in clinical practice: lessons from the front lines, Sci. Transl. Med. 5:194cm5, 2013).
Expanding the Rat Genome Database (http://rgd.mcw.edu/) to link genomic variations to specific disease phenotypes using rat models (Nigam et al., Rat Genome Database: A unique resource for rat, human and mouse quantitative trait locus (QTL) Data, Physiol. Genomics. 2013 Jul 23. [Epub ahead of print]).
3. Balaraman Kalyanaraman PhD, Chairman and Professor, Department of Biophysics
Designed and tested mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, and demonstrated their efficacy as novel chemotherapeutic agents in breast cancer and other forms of cancer (Cheng et al., Mitochondria-targeted drugs synergize with 2-deoxyglucose to trigger breast cancer cell death, Cancer Res.72:2634-2644, 2012; Dilip et al., Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant and glycolysis inhibition: synergistic therapy in hepatocellular carcinoma, Anticancer Drugs [In Press]; Cheng et al., Mitochondria-targeted vitamin E analogs inhibit breast cancer cell energy metabolism and promote cell death, BMC Cancer 13:285, 2013; Cunniff et al., Mitochondrial-targeted nitroxides disrupt mitochondrial architecture and inhibit expression of peroxiredoxin 3 and FOXM1 in malignant mesothelioma cells, J. Cell. Physiol. 228:835-845, 2013).
4. Janet Sue Rader MD, Chairman and Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Conducted clinical trials to assess efficacy of chemotherapeutic strategies for gynecologic cancers (Zighelboim et al, Multicenter phase II trial of topotecan, cisplatin and bevacizumab for recurrent or persistent cervical cancer, Gynecol Oncol. 130:64-68, 2013).
Contributed to the Cancer Genome Atlas project analyzing mRNA, microRNA, promoter methylation, and DNA copy number and sequences in ovarian adenocarcinomas. Identified TP53 mutations in 96% of the tumors, and significant mutations in other genes, including NF1, BRCA1, BRCA2, RB1 and CDK12 (Bell et al., Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network; Integrated genomic analyses of ovarian carcinoma, Nature. 474:609-615, 2011).
5. Liang Wang MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
Published one of the first reports utilizing deep sequencing to discover and characterize profiles of plasma-derived exosomal RNAs, with the aim of developing blood-based biomarkers for cancer and other diseases (Huang et al., Characterization of human plasma-derived exosomal RNAs by deep sequencing, BMC Genomics. May 10;14:319, 2013).
6. Carol L. Williams PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Discovered that A2B adenosine receptor agonists may promote metastasis by suppressing Rap1B prenylation and promoting dispersion of tumor cells in multiple forms of cancer (Ntantie et al., An adenosine-mediated signaling pathway suppresses prenylation of the GTPase Rap1B and promotes cell scattering, Sci. Signal. May 28;6(277):ra39, 2013).
Defined a new signaling mechanism that controls the activity of multiple cancer-promoting small GTPases, including K-Ras, Rap1, RhoA, and Rac1 (Williams, A new signaling paradigm to control the prenylation and trafficking of small GTPases, Cell Cycle [In Press]).
7. Ming You MD, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Cancer Center Director, and Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Utilized whole-exome sequencing and other techniques to identify previously undescribed gene mutations in lung and colon cancer (Xiong et al., Exome sequencing identifies MXRA5 as a novel cancer gene frequently mutated in non-small cell lung carcinoma from Chinese patients, Carcinogenesis, 33:1797-1805, 2012; Liu et al., Identification of somatic mutations in non-small cell lung carcinomas using whole-exome sequencing, Carcinogenesis, 33:1270-1276, 2012; Liu et al., Genome-wide association and fine mapping of genetic loci predisposing to colon carcinogenesis in mice, Mol. Cancer Res. 10:66-74, 2012; James et al., Functional characterization of CLPTM1L as a lung cancer risk candidate, PLoS One. 7(6):e36116, 2012).