The Gynecologic Oncology (G.O.) Discovery Lab, directed by Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh, focuses on two poorly understood and under studied epithelial gynecologic malignancies: endometrial and ovarian carcinoma. Even though both cancer subtypes pose a serious health risk to women little is known about what cells give rise to each tumor subtype, how these tumors initiate or strategies for targeted therapy. The goal of the laboratory is to identify ovarian and endometrial cancer initiating cells and targeting genetic pathways essential for their survival as part of the treatment for these gynecologic cancers. The G.O. Discovery team hypothesizes that the normal stem cells in the endometrium or ovary/fallopian tube could be the target cell for formation of endometrial or ovarian papillary serous carcinoma, respectively. The normal epithelial stem of these gynecologic organs may also be precursors for ovarian and endometrial cancer stem cells. The lab aims to pinpoint the genetic changes that prompt normal gynecologic epithelial stem cells to convert into cancer cells and identify the chemical and biologic molecules that can be used to stop their growth. Such new therapies could be better tolerated with fewer side effects and better chances of eradicating these women’s cancers.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Memarzadeh S, Cai H, Janzen DM, Xin L, Lukacs R, Riedinger M, Zong Y, Degendt K, Verhoeven G, Huang J, Witte ON. Role of autonomous androgen receptor signaling in prostate cancer initiation is dichotomous and depends on the oncogenic signal. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May 10;108(19):7962-7. Epub 2011 Apr 25.
Memarzadeh S, Zong Y, Janzen DM, Goldstein AS, Cheng D, Kurita T, Schafenacker AM, Huang J, Witte ON. Cell-autonomous activation of the PI3-kinase pathway initiates endometrial cancer from adult uterine epithelium. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Oct 5;107(40):17298-303. Epub 2010 Sep 20.
Memarzadeh S, Xin L, Mulholland DJ, Mansukhani A, Wu H, Teitell MA, Witte ON. Enhanced paracrine FGF10 expression promotes formation of multifocal prostate adenocarcinoma and an increase in epithelial androgen receptor. Cancer Cell. 2007 Dec; 12(6):572-85.
Memarzadeh S, Lee SB, Berek JB, Farias-Eisner R. CA125 levels are a weak predictor of optimal cytoreductive surgery in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2003 Mar-Apr;13(2):120-4.
Memarzadeh S, Natarajan S, Dandade DP, Ostrzega N, Saber PA, Busuttil A, Lentz SE, Berek JS. Lymphovascular and perineural invasion in the parametria: a prognostic factor for early-stage cervical cancer. Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Sep;102(3):612-9.