Translational issues related to early cancer detection and mechanisms of metastasis.
The work in this laboratory is focused on 3 fundamental topics related to early cancer detection.
1) Development of molecular imaging probes - We have used several different approaches, including phage display, and in collaboration with our colleagues in the Chemistry Department, a mass spectrometry based method to develop novel imaging probes that characterize and phenotype tumors.
2) Discovery of lung cancer serum biomarkers - Through a proteomics approach, we discovered a panel of serum protein biomarkers for the detection of lung cancer. More recently we have begun to explore the use of intratumoral lymphocytes to elucidate novel autoantibodies as additional diagnostic tumor markers.
3) Mechanisms of metastasis - In our effort to improve early detection strategies, and discover novel molecular targets for the treatment of cancer, we have several projects that study the process of metastasis. We are trying to understand the tumor-host interaction, and regulatory effects of the immune response in cancer.
Our studies on humoral immunity have lead us to examine the role of a complement regulatory protein, CFH, in protecting tumor cells from complement lysis. This presents a potentially unique target and mechanism for the treatment of cancer.