Interdisciplinary Oncology Program

Faculty of Medicine

100-570 West 7th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 4S6

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Dr. Xuesen Dong

Dong lab investigates how aberrant RNA splicing processes drive prostate cancer progression toward castration-resistant stage. We study how cancer cells generate androgen receptor (AR) splice variants to sustain the AR signaling in the presence of anti-AR therapies. We also study how the neuronal specific RNA splicing factor SRRM4 transforms prostate adenocarcinoma to AR “quiescent” neuroendocrine prostate tumor. Through screening small molecules that can block the activities of AR variants and SRRM4, we are seeking therapies for treatment-resistant prostate cancers.       

Lab website: http://www.prostatecentre.com/about-us/people/dr-xuesen-dong

Email: xdong@prostatecentre.com

Dr. Karen Gelmon

My research interests span several areas that link my clinical practice with research initiatives. My research activity focuses on developing new, improved treatment options for persons with breast cancer, lung cancer, HIV malignancies and other malignancies and spans Phase I, II, and III clinical trials in single centre and multicentre cooperative arenas, as well as research to understand the character of cancer and its effect on patients.

We have successfully taken liposomal vincristine through its intial preclinical development, into a IND approved by the Health Protection Branch and through one Phase I and two Phase II clinical trials. I am also involved in the development of another standard cytotoxic, anhydrovinblastine, which has been through preclinical testing and should enter clinical Phase 1 testing at the BCCA in l998. With other local companies we are exploring other options for anticancer therapy which may result in agents with novel mechanisms. This includes cationic fusion peptides which in the preclinical cell culture studies look active and promising, antisense strategies with bCL-2, ribosome technology against for example VEGF, modifiers of drug resistance, and other avenues of inhibiting cell growth. We will be testing many natural products which may be used in complementary medicine but may have potential if proven active in standard testing.

Lab website: http://www.bccrc.ca/dept/et/personnel%20-%20content/clinician-scientists/karen-gelmon-md

Email: karengelmon@bccrc.ca

Dr. Martin Gleave

Dr. Gleave is a clinician-scientist and urologic surgeon whose clinical practice focuses on urologic oncology in a multi-disciplinary environment at the leading edge of assessing new technologies and treatments across both localized and advanced cancers. His research characterizes molecular mechanisms mediating treatment resistance in cancer, focusing on adaptive survival responses that drive acquired treatment resistance, and designing combination co-targeting strategies to create conditional lethality and improve cancer control. He patented several anti-cancer drugs and in 2001 founded OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals to develop OGX-011 and OGX-427, inhibitors of cytoprotective chaperones clusterin and Hsp27 now in Phase III and Phase II trials world-wide. He has co-founded several other companies including Sitka Pharma, TRiADD, and Sustained Therapeutics.

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Lab website: http://www.prostatecentre.com/about-us/people/dr-martin-gleave

Email:  m.gleave@ubc.ca

Dr. Emma Guns

Dr. Emma Tomlinson Guns is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at UBC. She co-directs the Pharmacology and Drug Design Core at the Vancouver Prostate Centre and has completed pharmacokinetic analyses for numerous local clinical trials with conventional therapeutics for the treatment of prostate cancer (PCa). Her research group has received > $4 million in research funding during the past 10 years for research focused on several areas pertaining to the development, treatment and progression of PCa and she has published > 50 original articles. In conjunction with her core responsibilities at VPC, Dr Guns’ research group recently helped redefine an important resistance phenomena involved in castration resistant progression, i.e. tumour derived steroid formation. Her lab has also more recently developed an interest in microvesicles as conveyors of treatment resistance and cell survival signaling during cancer progression. Another significant aspect of her research is orientated around the use of natural health products (NHPs) and dietary supplements by prostate cancer patients and, in addition to her being a current board member for the Society for Integrative Oncology (http://www.integrativeonc.org/), she is a co-founder and former President (2011-2013) of the Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada (www.nhprs.ca). The concurrent use of NHPs with conventional chemotherapeutics/treatment strategies have been an important focus and interest of her lab - to help patients and caregivers to discern both beneficial and adverse interactions with NHPs. Dr. Guns has served/sits on a number of grant review panels including the US DoD, CCSRI, PCF/Movember UK, CIHR, PCFRC and MSFHR.

Lab website: http://www.prostatecentre.com/about-us/people/dr-emma-s-tomlinson-guns

Email: eguns@prostatecentre.com

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