We discover and evaluate novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets that can rapidly improve the lives of patients with bladder and prostate cancer. To do this, we integrate information from massive genomic databases, our own experimental studies, and carefully curated human biospecimens. The result is a powerful approach that uses every available type of analysis.
Our experimental work has identified genes such as SOX9, Nestin, and members of the Notch signaling pathway, which pattern urogenital organs in the embryo and remodel tissues after injury. We have found that these same signals are also reactivated in cancers, helping them form, grow and spread. Within urogenital cancers, some cells are particularly prolific, serving as so called “cancer stem cells.” Cancer stem cells are thought to be responsible for the recurrence of cancers after treatment. We have identified cancer stem cells in bladder cancers, a cancer type that is notorious for recurring after therapy. We are working to better understand the roles of bladder cancer stem cells in human patients and to find improved therapies that specifically target these cells.
David M. Berman, MD, PhD, Professor
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine
Division of Cancer Biology and Genetics
Cancer Research Institute
Adjunct Faculty, Departments of Pathology, Oncology, and Urology
The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
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