Prostate Cancer Biology
Research in our group is focused on the study of the molecular mechanisms that control prostate cancer development and progression. Cancer of the prostate is the most common cancer and one of leading causes of cancer related death. At the present there is a need to understand the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of this disease and find the means to distinguish between cancers that may need different therapeutic strategies. One of our goals is to identify and characterize the transcription factor cascade that control prostate cancer development. Cell growth and differentiation processes are regulated at the level of gene transcription. Many transcription factors possess transforming potential when expressed in a deregulated fashion. ETS factors constitute a network of transcriptional regulators that activate or repress the expression of genes that are involved in various biological processes, including cellular proliferation, apoptosis, invasiveness and cancer progression. The laboratory has identified ETS genes potentially involved in prostate cancer, based upon their altered expression in prostate cancer clinical samples. Currently, the functional role of these genes is being investigated as well as their relevance for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. We are also investigating novel therapeutic approaches to target oncogenic ETS factors.