Cancer Biology Research Program Aims to Understand
The Cancer Biology program at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute brings together investigators studying the basic biology of cancer at the molecular, cellular and in vivo levels. Program investigators use biochemical, genetic and other methodologies to study and understand the mechanisms of malignant transformation, tumor progression and tumor metastasis.Learn More
The mission of the CBP is to provide basic discoveries and promote research collaborations that lead to new approaches for preventing and treating cancer.
Specific Aims: The overarching goal of the CBP is to improve understanding of the biochemical, molecular, and cellular mechanisms underlying tumor development, progression, and metastasis. To achieve this goal, research in the CBP has the following aims:
- Aim 1: Delineate mechanisms by which cells maintain genomic integrity and how these mechanisms are involved in the development and progression of cancer.
- Aim 2: Define the contribution of stromal elements in determining tumor behavior and patient response to therapy.
- Aim 3: Understand the immune response to cancer and the mechanisms that suppress this response in tumors.
Primary Areas of Research
Cancer Initiation and Malignancy
Determine the cellular processes that contribute to the malignant transformation, growth, and metastasis of cells.
Understand the interactions between cancer cells and stromal components of a tumor that affect cancer growth and metastasis and how these interactions can be targeted to inhibit t
Tumor Immune Response
Define how the function of immune cells is changed in a tumor and how immune cell function can be targeted to inhibit cancer growth.
- Edwards AD, Marecki JC, Byrd AK, Gao J, Raney KD. G-Quadruplex loops regulate PARP-1 enzymatic activation. Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Dec 11:gkaa1172. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa1172. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33313902.
- Block MS, Dietz AB, Gustafson MP, Kalli KR, Erskine CL, Youssef B, Vijay GV, Allred JB, Pavelko KD, Strausbauch MA, Lin Y, Grudem ME, Jatoi A, Klampe CM, Wahner-Hendrickson AE, Weroha SJ, Glaser GE, Kumar A, Langstraat CL, Solseth ML, Deeds MC, Knutson KL, Cannon MJ. Th17-inducing autologous dendritic cell vaccination promotes antigen-specific cellular and humoral immunity in ovarian cancer patients. Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 14;11(1):5173. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18962-z. PMID: 33057068; PMCID: PMC7560895.
- Gao M, Bai H, Jethava Y, Wu Y, Zhu Y, Yang Y, Xia J, Cao H, Franqui-Machin R, Nadiminti K, Thomas GS, Salama ME, Altevogt P, Bishop G, Tomasson M, Janz S, Shi J, Chen L, Frech I, Tricot G, Zhan F. Identification and Characterization of Tumor-Initiating Cells in Multiple Myeloma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2020 May 1;112(5):507-515. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djz159. PMID: 31406992; PMCID: PMC7225664.
- Chen J, Dai L, Goldstein A, Zhang H, Tang W, Forrest JC, Post SR, Chen X, Qin Z. Identification of new antiviral agents against Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) by high-throughput drug screening reveals the role of histamine-related signaling in promoting viral lytic reactivation. PLoS Pathog. 2019 Dec 2; 15(12): e1008156. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008156. PMID: 31790497; PMCID: PMC6907871.
- Delgado-Calle J, Kurihara N, Atkinson EG, Nelson J, Miyagawa K, Galmarini CM, Roodman GD, Bellido T. Aplidin (plitidepsin) is a novel anti-myeloma agent with potent anti-resorptive activity mediated by direct effects on osteoclasts. Oncotarget. 2019 Apr 12;10(28):2709-2721. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.26831. PMID: 31105871; PMCID: PMC6505631.
- Franqui-Machin R, Hao M, Bai H, Gu Z, Zhan X, Habelhah H, Jethava Y, Qiu L, Frech I, Tricot G, Zhan F. Destabilizing NEK2 overcomes resistance to proteasome inhibition in multiple myeloma. J Clin Invest. 2018 Jul 2;128(7):2877-2893. doi: 10.1172/JCI98765. Epub 2018 Jun 4. PMID: 29863498; PMCID: PMC6026005.
From Bench to Bedside
Discoveries made by Cancer Biology program investigators are used together with those from the other Cancer Institute research programs to advance translational and clinical research.
Program Leader Steven Post
“Cancer biology is very broad based as it applies to basic science discovery. However, our program focuses on understanding the basic science as it relates to tumor cell development and how a cell’s environment either supports or inhibits tumor growth.”View Bio