Bladder cancer is the fifth most common malignancy diagnosed in the United States; however, few new treatment options have been approved by the FDA for the last several decades. Molecular characterization data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and other groups demonstrate that almost all urothelial carcinomas of the bladder harbor a chromatin modifier gene mutation. Our lab is focused on understanding the effects of chromatin modifier mutations on the initiation and progression of urothelial cancers of the bladder and upper tract. We are also examining how gene expression changes caused by chromatin modifier mutations interact with other commonly mutated pathways in urothelial cancers such as RTK-RAS-RAF and PI3K-AKT-MTOR to influence therapeutic response and resistance.
In other words ...
I am a urologic oncologist and surgeon-scientist focused on using modern scientific tools to improve the management of urothelial cancers of the bladder and upper tract. Chromatin modifiers control how DNA is organized inside a cell's nucleus, and they are mutated in the majority of urothelial cancers. Mutations in these genes can substantially alter a cell's behavior. We are investigating how chromatin modifier mutations act to promote urothelial cancer development and potentially render these cancers susceptible to novel drug combinations.
Christina Du Ross PhD