Gagan Deep Lab
Exosomes Research. Hypoxia in primary prostate tumors is associated with
metastasis, treatment failure and mortality; however, the precise underlying mechanisms remain unknown.
In this regard, our completed studies strongly support the role of exosomes in
mediating the hypoxia-induced prostate cancer cells invasiveness and
metastasis. Interestingly, we have identified that hypoxic prostate cancer
cells exosomes play a critical role in the preparation of pre-metastatic niches
at specific distant organ sites. Since hypoxia is an early event during
prostate carcinogenesis, it is pertinent that pre-metastatic niches preparations start earlier
than actual metastasis. We believe that a better understanding of pre-metastatic niches would
offer novel opportunities to prevent prostate cancer metastasis.
Health Disparity Research. Prostate cancer exhibits the most
striking racial disparity as African American men are at higher risk of being
diagnosed and dying of prostate cancer, in comparison with Caucasian men.
Although, multiple factors including socio-economic status contribute to this
disparity but it is essential to identify the underlying biological
differences. We are interested in identifying the unique molecular and
biological events in the tumor and tumor microenvironment that contribute to
the more aggressive phenotype in African American prostate cancer.
Cancer Chemoprevention Research. Cancer is a major
health issue. Cancers such as glioma, pancreatic, and lung have extremely poor
survival rates; and currently available therapeutic measures are costly,
painful, and are rarely curative. In other cancers, such as prostate, breast,
and colon, with existing screening programs, the 5-year survival rate is quite
high. However, due to higher incidences, the mortality and morbidity burden of
these cancers is enormous. Therefore,
there is need for additional non-toxic and alternative strategies to treat, and
ideally, prevent cancer. We could exploit the facts the initiated cells take
decades to develop into a clinically significant disease, and cancer cells
exhibit significant molecular alterations that are distinct from normal cells.
Besides the genetic and epigenetic changes, tumor microenvironment plays an
important role in determining whether initiated cells will remain dormant or
advanced into a malignancy. Therefore, tumor microenvironment could also be a
target for cancer prevention and intervention. One of our research goals
is to discover and validate non-toxic agents for cancer prevention/
intervention with mechanistic evidences and target authentication in
pre-clinical and clinical studies.