Dr. Ann Bode Professor Cancer Biomarkers and Drug Resistance
Our laboratory is funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) contract and Pediatric Pharmaceuticals. The purpose of the NIH studies is to identify and measure specific cellular signal transduction endpoints with the purpose of identifying potential biomarkers and mechanisms of action of the various anticancer agents. The work funded by Pediatric Pharmaceuticals focuses on the anti-skin cancer effects of ginger compounds. The NIH funded work focuses on studies with mammary tumors and normal mammary glands, and effects of chemopreventive agents in in vivo mammary models. The primary purpose of this work is to determine whether specific signal transduction molecules can serve as reliable endpoint biomarkers for clinical trials as well as providing insight into the mechanism(s) by which selected anticancer agents modulate their preventive effects. The development and identification of reliable biomarkers will allow us to 1) assess the efficacy of potential chemopreventive or therapeutic agents for clinical trials; 2) identify patients who will respond to specific drug treatments; and 3) determine the mechanisms of action of specific agents or mixtures of agents (e.g., food mixtures). These are major objectives in the field of chemoprevention and cancer therapeutics. To identify biomarkers, we use a variety of techniques, including immunohistochemisty, Western blot analysis, protein array analysis, and cell culture. The use of Neu expressing or ER positive breast cancer cell lines to test the effect of RXR inhibitors, targretin and UAB, on migration and invasion along with other characteristics of cancer is being investigated.
Our work funded by Pediatric Pharmaceuticals has focused on developing a ginger- based formulation to treat and/or prevent solar UV-induced skin cancer.