Data obtained from the whole genome/exome and transcriptome profiling have not been able to pinpoint the key event that drives bladder cancer invasion and metastasis. While localized bladder cancers have a favorable outcome, regionally and distantly metastatic bladder cancer have 5-year survival rates of only 34% and 5%, respectively. In this project, we investigate tumor derived extracellular vesicles for their involvement in bladder cancer progression to metastasis.
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Cancer immunotherapy, which uses the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer, has recently revolutionized cancer treatment. It represents a treatment with unprecedented potential to achieve complete, long lasting remissions and cancer cures. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy is perhaps one of the most successful immunotherapies for bladder cancer, yet the working mechanisms are not well understood.
Learn more about Roles of tumor-derived extracellular vesicles in cancer cell immunogenicity following BCG therapy
This is a highly translational project to investigate cancer extracellular vesicles’ roles in promoting cisplatin resistance in bladder cancer. We used cells, human subjects and mice to study the chemoresistance mechanism driven by extracellular vesicle machinery as well as to establish extracellular vesicle profiles (size, concentration, subpopulation, genes in extracellular vesicles pathways and molecular contents) that can be used as predictive markers for treatment.
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The existence of a pre-malignant field that is predisposed to tumor formation is called the cancer field effect. First described in the 1950s, its causes remain largely unknown. Recently, the discovery of extracellular vesicles and their functions in cell-cell communication has opened a new avenue of understanding cancer biology. In this project, we study the field effect in bladder cancer and show that bladder cancer extracellular vesicles transfer information in a paracrine/endocrine manner to induce reprogramming of recipient normal cells in the “field”, consequently inducing malignant transformation.
Learn more about Roles of extracellular vesicles in the bladder cancer field cancerization effect