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  • Craig Pollack Lab

    Research in the Craig Pollack Lab focuses on cancer prevention and control, particularly prostate cancer. Our work aims to understand how the organization environment of health care affects the type and quality of care that patients receive. Other work investigates the broader social context of health and health care— specifically housing, financial hardship and socioeconomic status.

    Principal Investigator

    Craig Pollack, MD

    Department

    Medicine

  • Brennen Lab

    The Brennen laboratory takes a rigorous, multi-disciplinary, team-based approach towards developing innovative therapeutic and prognostic strategies for prostate cancer with an emphasis on exploiting vulnerabilities within the tumor microenvironment towards this goal. To accomplish this goal, we are strategically pursuing novel therapeutic platforms, including stromal-targeted prodrugs, protoxins, and radiolabeled antibodies, in addition to cell-based therapy and drug delivery; all of which are designed to reduce toxicity to peripheral non-target tissue (i.e. side effects) while maximizing anti-tumor efficacy (i.e. therapeutic benefit). Currently, many of these strategies are focused on overcoming stromal barriers to anti-tumor immune responses such that men suffering from prostate cancer can share in the immense, revolutionary power of immunotherapy that is transforming care for many with advanced disease in other tumor types previously thought to be unmanageable using conventional approaches. Unfortunately, prostate cancer has largely proven refractory to these powerful approaches thus far and requires novel mono- or combinatorial treatment strategies to unleash the full potential of the immune system and generate personalized anti-tumor responses with the capability of producing long-term durable responses or even cures in these men.

    Principal Investigator

    W. Nathaniel Brennen, PhD

    Department

    Oncology

  • Eugene Shenderov Laboratory

    The Shenderov Lab focuses on the elucidation of the mechanisms of immune response and resistance to immunotherapy in Prostate Cancer. This has led to clinical and basic research investigating the presumptive checkpoint inhibitor B7-H3. In pursuit of understanding biomarkers or resistance and response, and regulatory molecules of immune response, we utilize artificial intelligence, immunogenomics, and spatial proteomics and transcriptomics in the laboratory and at the bedside using clinical trial correlative samples.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Eugene Shenderov, MD PhD

    Department

    Oncology

  • William B. Isaacs Laboratory

    Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in men in the United States, although our understanding of the molecular basis for this disease remains incomplete. We are interested in characterizing consistent alterations in the structure and expression of the genome of human prostate cancer cells as a means of identifying genes critical in the pathways of prostatic carcinogenesis. We are focusing on somatic genomic alterations occurring in sporadic prostate cancers, as well as germline variations which confer increases in prostate cancer risk. Both genome wide and candidate gene approaches are being pursued, and cancer associated changes in gene expression analyses of normal and malignant prostate cells are being cataloged as a complementary approach in these efforts. It is anticipated that this work will assist in providing more effective methodologies to identify men at high risk for this disease, in general, and in particular, to identify new markers of prognostic and therapeutic significance that could lead to more effective management of this common disease.

    Principal Investigator

    William B. Isaacs, PhD

    Department

    Urology

  • The Sfanos Lab

    The Sfanos Lab studies the cellular and molecular pathology of prostate disease at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We are specifically interested in agents that may lead to chronic inflammation in the prostate, such as bacterial infections and prostatic concretions called corpora amylacea. Our ongoing studies are aimed at understanding the influence of prostate infections and inflammation on prostate disease including prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The laboratory also focuses on the influence of the microbiome on prostate disease development, progression, and/or resistance to therapy.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Karen Sfanos, PhD

    Department

    Pathology

  • Shawn Lupold Laboratory

    The Shawn Lupold Laboratory studies the biology of urologic malignancies, like prostate cancer, to create new experimental diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic agents.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Shawn Lupold, PhD

    Department

    Urology

  • Marie-France Penet Lab

    The Penet lab is within the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. The lab research focuses on using multimodal imaging techniques to better understand the microenvironment and improve cancer early detection, especially in ovarian cancer. By combining MRI, MRS and optical imaging, we are studying the tumor microenvironment to understand the role of hypoxia, tumor vascularization, macromolecular transport and tumor metabolism in tumor progression, metastasis and ascites formation in orthotopic models of cancer. We also are studying the role of tumor-associated macrophages in tumor progression.
  • Zaver M. Bhujwalla Lab – Cancer Imaging Research

    Dr. Bhujwalla’s lab promotes preclinical and clinical multimodal imaging applications to understand and effectively treat cancer. The lab’s work is dedicated to the applications of molecular imaging to understand cancer and the tumor environment. Significant research contributions include 1) developing ‘theranostic agents’ for image-guided targeting of cancer, including effective delivery of siRNA in combination with a prodrug enzyme 2) understanding the role of inflammation and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cancer using molecular and functional imaging 3) developing noninvasive imaging techniques to detect COX-2 expressing in tumors 4) understanding the role of hypoxia and choline pathways to reduce the stem-like breast cancer cell burden in tumors 5) using molecular and functional imaging to understand the role of the tumor microenvironment including the extracellular matrix, hypoxia, vascularization, and choline phospholipid metabolism in prostate and breast cancer invasion and metastasis, with the ultimate goal of preventing cancer metastasis and 6) molecular and functional imaging characterization of cancer-induced cachexia to understand the cachexia-cascade and identify novel targets in the treatment of this condition.
  • Dmitri Artemov Lab

    The Artemov lab is within the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. The lab focuses on 1) Use of advanced dynamic contrast enhanced-MRI and activated dual-contrast MRI to perform image-guided combination therapy of triple negative breast cancer and to assess therapeutic response. 2) Development of noninvasive MR markers of cell viability based on a dual-contrast technique that enables simultaneous tracking and monitoring of viability of transplanted stems cells in vivo. 3) Development of Tc-99m and Ga-68 angiogenic SPECT/PET tracers to image expression of VEGF receptors that are involved in tumor angiogenesis and can be important therapeutic targets. 4) Development of the concept of “click therapy” that combines advantages of multi-component targeting, bio-orthogonal conjugation and image guidance and preclinical validation in breast and prostate cancer models.

    Principal Investigator

    Dmitri Artemov, PhD

    Department

    Radiology and Radiological Science

  • William G. Nelson Laboratory

    Normal and neoplastic cells respond to genome integrity threats in a variety of different ways. Furthermore, the nature of these responses are critical both for cancer pathogenesis and for cancer treatment. DNA damaging agents activate several signal transduction pathways in damaged cells which trigger cell fate decisions such as proliferation, genomic repair, differentiation, and cell death. For normal cells, failure of a DNA damaging agent (i.e., a carcinogen) to activate processes culminating in DNA repair or in cell death might promote neoplastic transformation. For cancer cells, failure of a DNA damaging agent (i.e., an antineoplastic drug) to promote differentiation or cell death might undermine cancer treatment. Our laboratory has discovered the most common known somatic genome alteration in human prostatic carcinoma cells. The DNA lesion, hypermethylation of deoxycytidine nucleotides in the promoter of a carcinogen-defense enzyme gene, appears to result in inactivation of the gene and a resultant increased vulnerability of prostatic cells to carcinogens. Studies underway in the laboratory have been directed at characterizing the genomic abnormality further, and at developing methods to restore expression of epigenetically silenced genes and/or to augment expression of other carcinogen-defense enzymes in prostate cells as prostate cancer prevention strategies. Another major interest pursued in the laboratory is the role of chronic or recurrent inflammation as a cause of prostate cancer. Genetic studies of familial prostate cancer have identified defects in genes regulating host inflammatory responses to infections. A newly described prostate lesion, proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA), appears to be an early prostate cancer precursor. Current experimental approaches feature induction of chronic prostate inflammation in laboratory mice and rats, and monitoring the consequences on the development of PIA and prostate cancer.

    Principal Investigator

    William G. Nelson, MD

    Department

    Oncology