basic sceince research

BASIC SCIENCE RESEARCH PROGRAM

Research Accomplishments

Research projects are integrated under the following themes which are highly interactive and are beyond the conventional boundaries of a given expertise area and truly represent the CPDR paradigm:

  • Translational CaP Genomics and Proteomics
  • Novel CaP Cell Culture Models
  • CaP Molecular Genetics
  • Hormonal Mechanisms of CaP


Translational CaP Genomics and Proteomics

Translational research of cancer cell and molecular biology-derived discoveries in the pre-clinical or clinical research setting has been the priority of CPDR since its inception. A highly multi-disciplinary research environment of urologists, cancer cell and molecular biologists, genitourinary pathologists, bioinformatics and medical informatics experts, bio-statisticians, medical technologists and regulatory affairs experts supports the CPDR enterprise. Well-characterized CPDR biospecimens banks, recent discoveries showing consistent gene expression alterations in CaP and development of promising new molecular diagnostic technologies, have provided an optimal setting for CPDR to focus in the translational research areas, where we already have developed expertise or in the areas where new initiatives are needed.

Novel Cell Culture Models of CaP

The Prostate Cell Center was established in the newly-renovated CPDR laboratory at the Department of Surgery, USUHS, in January 2000 and has been very active over the years. The Prostate Cell Center has made major advances in the generation of short-term cultures from primary tumors of prostate cancer patients. (1) Total cell strains generated from primary tumors are 134, (2) the number of cell strains generated from normal tissue from the same patient are 72, (3) five well-characterized telomerase-immortalized human CaP cell lines from the tumor of African American and caucasian CaP patients. These cells are critical to the development and use of in vitro models and for the identification of novel therapeutic targets of prostate cancer.

CaP Molecular Genetics

Since its inception, CPDR-BRP has embraced the goal of defining CaP-specific genetic alterations that characterize the disease onset and/or progression. Genetic alterations that are "critical" in the genesis of CaP or molecular alterations that "consistently associate" with CaP will provide definitive molecular targets for the development of bio-markers and new therapeutic targets. This goal has become increasingly more apparent as most of the frequent gene alterations associated with other common human cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer or lung cancer, do not seem to play a significant role in CaP.

Defining Androgen Signaling in CaP Onset and Progression

Androgen signaling is extremely important in the life and death of the prostate gland and is believed to play an important role in prostate cancer. Hormonal therapy, the most common treatment strategy for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer works by inhibiting androgen signaling. Accumulating evidence suggests that alterations of androgen signaling in prostate cancer may involve structural or functional alterations of the critical genes at numerous points in the pathway.

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CURRENT EVENTS


Dr. Xavier

June 23, 2016

Dr. Charles P. Xavier Takes the Robert A. Phillips Award and a Navy-wide Academic Research Competition Award

by Paula Amann
Published in the June 2016 issue of Military Medical Research News, a monthly newsletter of the Department of Research Programs, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Fine-tuning facial transplants, predicting bone fractures, shrinking prostate cancers with new drugs and cutting the costs of surgical training with the right technology: These were among the problems probed by competition winners for 2016 Research and Innovation Month at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC).

The events, during Poster Display Week on May 11 and the Research Symposia on May 18-19, drew abstracts for 178 projects. After winnowing by pre-selection judges, 22 finalists emerged in three categories: case reports, evidence-based practice and quality improvement (a crucial non-research area).

Another 24 finalists, split evenly between laboratory and clinical research, vied for the Robert A. Phillips (RAP) and Bailey K. Ashford (BKA) Awards. The two BKA winners were LCDR Gabriel Santiago, MC (laboratory medicine), and LT Scott Wagner, MC (clinical medicine).

RAP winners included LT Daniel Griffin, MC (resident laboratory category); CPT Sarah Placek, MC (resident clinical); Charles P. Xavier, Ph.D. (staff laboratory); and Benjamin Sheffield (staff clinical).

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