My laboratory is focusing on understanding the pathogenesis of urologic tumors including renal cell carcinoma and prostate cancer using an integrated genomic, quantitative proteomic, transcriptomic and miRNA approach with extensive bioinformatics analysis, for the purpose of biomarker discovery, understanding mechanisms of drug resistance, and the development of new targeted therapy.
The objective of my research program is to achieve a new era of personalized medicine in urological malignancies, including kidney and prostate cancers. A significant challenge in our current management system of cancer is that we divide patients into large cohorts based on the organ of origin or morphology of the tumour cells and then apply the same management plan to all patients. This results in a significant morbidity from complications and side effects because of the lack of our ability to choose the right treatment for the right patient. It also results in significant loss of resources. The promise of personalized medicine is to customize the management plan to fit the individual needs of each patient according to the biological behavior of the tumor which can be determined through molecular analysis.
My goal in the upcoming years is to connect pieces of the puzzle together by in depth analysis of tumour aggressive behaviour and resistance to therapy using animal models. My lab will continue to validate our diagnostic and prognostic markers and take it to the next phase of measuring these potential markers as non invasive serum and urine testing for kidney and prostate cancer. The future of kidney and prostate cancer research holds a lot of promise of upcoming revolutionary changes that will significantly improve patient outcome, and this will be done through integrated molecular analysis, a direction in which my lab is moving forward with confidence.
My research program has two parallel directions that merge together to reach an epoch of personalized medicine in kidney cancer; 1) the identification of molecular biomarkers for urological malignancies and, 2) the discovery of new molecular-based targeted therapy In the first direction, my lab has made a number of significant discoveries, as follows:I identified a number of miRNAs that can distinguish between normal kidney and kidney cancer patients with high accuracy. We are now testing these miRNAs as serum and urine non-invasive biomarkers. This was published in the official journal of the American Urological Association and I hold a patent for this discovery which can have a huge impact towards improving the diagnosis of kidney cancer since the current diagnostic tools including imaging studies and biopsy are not always accurate and suffer a number of limitations and complications. Moreover, we were also the first to identify miRNA signature that can distinguish between the common subtypes of renal cell carcinoma