Dr. Robert Reiter's laboratory interest is in the basic molecular biology of urologic cancers and the translation of these discoveries to the clinical care of patients. He has a busy surgical practice focused on prostate cancer and conducts numerous clinical trials for urologic malignancies.
Over the past few years, Reiter's laboratory has focused on three interrelated areas: the discovery of novel cell surface and secreted proteins associated with prostate cancer progression, the development of therapies directed against these targets and development of animal models of prostate and bladder cancer. A primary example of these three areas is Reiter's work related to prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), a cell surface antigen which is overexpressed in a large percentage of prostate and bladder cancers. This gene was discovered by subtractive hybridization of xenografted prostate cancers developed at UCLA. Monoclonal antibodies against PSCA were generated and shown to inhibit prostate cancer in preclinical models.
Reiter and his colleagues are currently studying the mechanism by which these antibodies inhibit tumor formation and metastasis. The researchers have also used these antibodies to study epithelial lineages within the normal prostate, hypothesizing that PSCA may mark a lineage associated with prostate carcinogenesis. Finally, the researchers have asked whether the PSCA promoter can be used to target marker genes and oncogenes to the prostate and bladder.
Reiter's first study, in collaboration with Dr. Owen Witte's laboratory, demonstrated that the PSCA promoter can drive green fluorescent protein expression to a unique subset of prostate epithelial cells associated with prostate growth and cancer formation. He and his associates are currently expanding these studies to develop novel transgenic models of prostate (and bladder) cancer. The researchers continue to identify additional genes potentially important in prostate and bladder cancer progression, which they hope to put through similar paradigms as described for PSCA.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Olafsen T, Gu Z, Sherman MA, Leyton JV, Witkosky ME, Shively JE, Raubitschek AA, Morrison SL, Wu AM, Reiter RE. Targeting, imaging, and therapy using a humanized antiprostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) antibody. J Immunother (1997). 2007; 30(4): 396-405.
Litwin MS, Gore JL, Kwan L, Brandeis JM, Lee SP, Withers HR, Reiter RE. Quality of life after surgery, external beam irradiation, or brachytherapy for early-stage prostate cancer. Cancer. 2007; 109(11): 2239-47.
Rao DS, Gui D, Koski ME, Popoviciu LM, Wang H, Reiter RE, Said JW. An inverse relation between COX-2 and E-cadherin expression correlates with aggressive histologic features in prostate cancer. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2006; 14(4): 375-83.
Palapattu GS, Reiter RE. Monoclonal antibody therapy for genitourinary oncology: promise for the future. J Urol. 2002; 168(6): 2615-23.
Tran CP, Lin C, Yamashiro J, Reiter RE. Prostate stem cell antigen is a marker of late intermediate prostate epithelial cells. Mol Cancer Res. 2002; 1(2): 113-21.