The Genitourinary (GU) Oncology program (Drs. Steven Balk, Glenn Bubley) is involved in clinical, basic and translational research activities. Drs. Balk is responsible for the basic research portion of the program and Dr. Bubley is responsible for the clinical research activities.
Dr. Balk's laboratory has as a major disease interest prostate cancer, with a particular focus on the role of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer development and progression. His laboratory is studying molecular mechanisms of androgen receptor action in normal prostate and prostate cancer. These include studies of AR structure, AR mutations, DNA binding, and interactions with coactivator/corepressor proteins. The laboratory has identified several androgen interacting proteins, and a long-term objective is to develop novel androgen receptor antagonists that will selectively modulate androgen receptor protein interactions. Other objectives are to establish animal models of prostate cancer and to carry out translational studies on clinical materials from prostate cancer patients.
Dr. Bubley is interested in newer targeted therapy for prostate cancer including targeting the PI3K/mTOR pathway for treatment of refractory prostate cancer.
The Genitourinary Oncology program is a key member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Prostate Cancer SPORE. The program works in collaboration with the Surgery Department to study mechanisms of immune tolerance to prostate tumor-associated antigens, novel immunotherapeutic strategies for prostate cancer, and identify prostate cancer biomarkers.