Dr. Ball has a background in both basic cancer biology and in thyroid cancer clinical research. Current efforts are focused on translational research in advanced thyroid cancer. In collaboration with investigators in the Cancer Biology Division and in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Dr. Ball is studying pre-clinical cell culture and animal models of thyroid cancer, focusing on activated signal transduction pathways downstream of receptor tyrosine kinases and ras. The laboratory employs specific kinase inhibitors in combination with other strategies induce cell death in both differentiated and medullary thyroid cancers. New preclinical animal models of thyroid cancer are under development to complement existing cell culture models. The laboratory is also engaged in discovery of new potential therapeutic targets through collaborative molecular genetics studies in medullary thyroid cancer.
On the clinical research side, Dr. Ball is principal investigator of a number of clinical trials in thyroid cancer, designed to move findings from the laboratory rapidly into the clinic. These studies include targeted inhibitors of BRAF and MEK kinases and receptor tyrosine kinases including VEGF receptors. Dr. Ball is collaborating on investigator-initiated Phase I combination studies, following promising leads in the laboratory. These clinical trials are conducted within the framework of the Department of Oncology Upper Aerodigestive and Phase I programs.
Dr. Ball has research funding from the National Institutes of Health (Head and Neck SPORE), American Cancer Society MEN2 Consortium, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Ball is a member of the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG), American Thyroid Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Endocrine Society.
- Jin N, Jiang T, Rosen DN, Nelkin BD, Ball DW . Synergistic action of a RAF inhibitor and dual PI-3 Kinase / mTOR inhibitor in thyroid cancer. Clin Can Res 17:6482-9, 2011.
- Kurzrock R, Sherman SI, Ball DW, et al. Activity of XL184 (Cabozantinib), an Oral Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor, in Patients with Medullary Thyroid Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 29:2660-6, 2011.
- Ahmed S and Ball DW, Incidental Medullary Thyroid Cancer, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 36:87-98, 2011.
- Ball DW. Management of Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Minerva Endocrinol 36:87-98, 2011.
- Tuttle RM, Ball DW, Byrd D, et al. Medullary Carcinoma, J Natl Compr Canc Netw 8:512-30, 2010.
- Feldman G, Mishra A, Hong SM, Bisht S, Strock CJ, Ball DW, Goggins M, Maitra A, Nelkin BD. Inhibiting the cyclin-dependent kinase CDK5 blocks pancreatic cancer formation and progression through the suppression of Ras-Ral signaling, Can Res 70:4460-9, 2010.
- Ball DW. Selectively targeting mutant BRAF in thyroid cancer. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 95:60-1, 2010.
- Tuttle RM, Ball DW, Byrd D, et al. Thyroid Carcinoma. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 8: 1228-74, 2010
- Jin N, Jiang J, Rosen DM, Nelkin BD, Ball DW Dual inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin in differentiated and anaplastic thyroid cancer. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 94:4107-12, 2009.
- Podoloff DA, Ball DW, Ben-Josef E, et al. NCCN task force: clinical utility of PET in a variety of tumor types. JNCCN Suppl 2:S1-26, 2009.
- Ball DW. American Thyroid Association guidelines for management of medullary thyroid cancer: an adult endocrinology perspective. Thyroid 19:547-50, 2009.
- Jiang T, Collins BJ, Jin N, Watkins DN, Brock MV, Matsui W, Nelkin BD, Ball DW. Achaete-scute complex homologue 1 regulates tumor-initiating capacity in small cell lung cancer. Cancer Res 69:845-854, 2009.
- Ball DW, Jin N, Rosen DM, Dackiw A, Sidransky D, Xing M, Nelkin BD. Selective growth inhibition in BRAF mutant thyroid cancer: Effect of the MEK Inhibitor AZD6244, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 92:4712-8, 2007.