Welcome to the Carpizo Lab
Gastrointestinal cancers such as pancreatic, bile duct and liver cancers are plagued by ineffective systemic therapies underscoring the tremendous unmet need for novel therapies. The Carpizo Laboratory studies cancer biology with an emphasis on developmental therapeutics. Our studies range from early drug discovery projects to translational studies of novel therapies that are about to enter or just have entered into clinical trials. These translational studies employ a variety of experimental systems including mouse cancer models, patient derived tissues as well as therapeutic clinical protocols.
Another major avenue of research in the Carpizo lab is the study of cancer metastasis and dormancy. Most solid organ cancers (i.e. breast, lung, pancreas) are treated with surgery when it appears that the disease has not spread to distant organs. This is highly effective (curative) for a number of tumor types such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancer. However, for a number of gastrointestinal cancers such as pancreas, liver and bile duct cancer, surgery is relatively ineffective as the majority of these patients go on to suffer metastatic recurrence. This means that at the time of the surgery, they harbor disseminated tumor cells in their bodies that for a period of time after surgery remain dormant. We want to understand what the molecular mechanisms that control cancer dormancy are, what awakens these cells and how can we devise therapies that either maintain the dormant state, or drive the cells into senescence.