For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Preston
Prostate Cancer Researcher Receives $4.5 million NIH Grant
The National Institutes of Health
(NIH) has awarded a prestigious five-year $4.5 million grant to
Dr. Cory Abate-Shen, an internationally recognized researcher
in the field of prostate cancer and resident faculty member at
the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine (CABM).
This grant will allow Dr. Abate-Shen
and collaborator Dr. Michael Shen, also a faculty member at CABM,
to build on research using mutant mice models to develop a better
understanding the molecular pathways of prostate cancer in order
to develop new therapeutic approaches for treating this disease.
"With this continued funding, we
will pursue studies that will yield fundamental insights into
basic molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and also will have
considerable clinical relevance," said Dr. Abate-Shen, who is
co-leader of the Prostate Cancer Program at The Cancer Institute
of New Jersey. "Although focused on prostate cancer, our analyses
should provide relevant experimental paradigms and/or broad insights
of fundamental relevance to understanding cancer mechanisms.
Dr. Abate-Shen, in addition to
her CABM and CINJ positions, is also professor of medicine and
of neuroscience and cell biology at the University of Medicine
and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School. Dr. Shen is director of
transgenic and knockout shared resource
at CINJ and professor of pediatrics at the medical school. CABM
is a joint research institution of the medical school and Rutgers
Dr. Abate-Shen's development of
mouse models of prostate cancer is part of a larger effort to
develop models of cancer through the Mouse Models of Human Cancer
Consortium, an initiative of the National Cancer Institute.
This grant is one of 25 national
grants made by the NIH to institutions such as Harvard University,
University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), UCLA, M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, University of North
Carolina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Baylor University,
Vanderbilt University, Dana Farber Cancer Center, and Sloane-Kettering
"We have found that mouse models
represent a powerful resource for studying prostate cancer," she
said. "Our molecular studies are providing new insights regarding
the pathways involved in carcinogenesis, as well as new prognostic
markers for early detection and for identifying patients at the
greatest risk for developing aggressive disease. With this information,
we have also begun several chemoprevention studies using our mutant
mice with the ultimate goal of directing the design of new rational
chemoprevention approaches in human."
Nationally one in six men will
develop prostate cancer is his lifetime and the incidence is even
higher in the African-American population. This year in New Jersey,
as many as 7,900 men will be diagnosed with this disease and 1,000
men will die.
Dr. Abate-Shen's new research has
four components and includes researchers at the UCSF, Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Project 1 is designed to
produce a next generation of mouse models, focusing on advanced
stages of prostate cancer and metastases.
Project 2 will identify
new prognostic indicators of prostate carcinogenesis,
using functional genomics and proteomics approaches. These studies
should not only identify novel components of the molecular pathwaysinvolved
in prostate carcinogenesis, but may also lead to serological testsfor
identification of stages of prostate cancer progression.
Project 3 addresses the
functional significance of hormonal signaling for
prostate carcinogenesis, using mouse models and tissue recombination
approaches. These studies
may provide important insights into the efficacy and
mechanisms of synthetic anti-androgens as chemopreventive agents.
Project 4 will develop mouse
models to examine the role of oxidative stress
in prostate carcinogenesis, and will utilize these mice to directly
test the efficacy of dietary
anti-oxidants in a pre-clinical trial of chemoprevention.