Scholars / Therapeutic Resistance

Understanding and predicting how tumors become resistant to different therapies is vital to prolonging life and curing patients.

Shigeki Miyamoto, PhD

Studying how cancers develop therapy resistance and developing strategies to reverse resistance.

Dr. Miyamoto will investigate the role of the NF-kB transcription factor family of proteins in contributing to the development of cancer resistance to chemotherapy agents. NF-kB is widely expressed in different cancer types and can contribute to the development of cancer resistance. However, the mechanisms involved are not well defined in different cancer settings. Dr. Miyamoto will specifically evaluate the role of NF-kB in multiple myeloma drug resistance by investigating the role of our newly discovered NF-kB activating factor produced by a stromal cell type present in the tumor microenvironment. He will investigate its ability to confer resistance in myeloma cells against different therapeutic agents and will also investigate how this factor causes NF-kB signaling in myeloma cells and potentially other cancer cell types because this factor is also present in several other cancer types and its high expression is associated with poor patient survival. Dr. Miyamoto will also develop neutralizing monoclonal antibodies against this factor with the goal of developing future therapeutic agent to reverse or prevent cancer drug resistance.

Randy Kimple, MD, PhD

Dr. Kimple’s work aims at developing a new treatment for patients with head and neck cancer to treat and reduce radiation-induced xerostomia.

Over the last year, Dr. Kimple’s research focused on using mesenchymal stem cells to treat radiation-induced xerostomia. Working with Dr. Jacques Galipeau and the Program for Advanced Cell Therapy, Dr. Kimple seeks to study the MSCs from head and neck cancer patients who have completed radiation to ensure they are capable of being used as a personalized therapy. This pilot study will lay the groundwork for a FDA-IND application and a first-in human clinical trial to treat xerostomia.

Josh Lang, MD

Studies Circulating Tumor Cells to detect cancer at an early stage and develop new treatment approaches for resistant cancers.

Dr. Lang’s overarching goal is to develop new therapeutic strategies to treat cancer that has become resistant to standard therapies. His project focuses on evaluating a putative resistance mechanisms to 2n dgeneration hormone therapies in prostate cancer, specifically Enzalutamide and Abiraterone Acetate. Dr. Lang has identified a putative mechanism of resistance involving the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and has begun a collaboration with a company developing a compound to target this receptor. Dr. Lang’s research will develop the predictive biomarkers needed to identify men with prostate cancers that may be driven by the GR. Success in these studies will support further development of these GR targeted therapies and bring new clinical trials to UW for men with prostate cancer being driven by this pathway.