Work in the Cynthia Sears Laboratory focuses on the bacterial contributions to the development of human colon cancer and the impact of the microbiome on other cancers and the therapy of cancer. The current work involves mouse and human studies to define how enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis, pks+ Escherichia coli, Fusobacterium nucleatum, biofilms and the colonic microbiota induce chronic colonic inflammation and colon cancer. Prospective human studies of the microbiome and biofilms in screening colonoscopy are in progress as are studies to determine if and how the microbiome impacts the response of individuals with cancer to immunotherapy and other cancer therapies.
The Franck Housseau Lab focuses on the role of the microbiome in colorectal tumorigenesis and on developing a better understanding of the tumor immune microenvironment. The lab is currently working to define the biomarkers of a pre-existing antitumor immune response in metastatic colorectal cancer to define a population of patients eligible for checkpoint blockade therapies.
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.