2400 E. Hartford Ave.
Enderis Hall, Room B73E
Milwaukee, WI 53211
The Prostate Cancer Laboratory’s research is centered around prostate cancer (PCa) and the effects of obesity and a high fat diet on disease progression. The lab’s work evolves around the study of two angiogenesis inhibitors, pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) and thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1). Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from the existing vasculature, is a necessary step for the progressive growth of tumors. Both TSP-1 and PEDF are expressed in the normal prostate, but, in PCa patient tissues, expression is decreased or absent, thus suggesting a role in disease progression. Interestingly, several lines of data suggest that both of these proteins also function in regulating lipid metabolism. This is of particular interest in PCa as a high fat diet and obesity have been consistently associated with more aggressive disease and increased risk of death from PCa. However, the mechanisms of this association remain unclear.
The Laboratory’s research is focused on elucidating these functional mechanism(s) and specifically delineating the role of TSP-1 and PEDF in regulating lipid metabolism in the prostate. Understanding the molecular pathways stimulated in PCa cells by obesity and dietary fats will allow the rational design of novel therapies for treatment as well as new strategies for chemoprevention.