Using multidisciplinary approaches, the Eng lab identifies and characterizes genes that cause susceptibility to inherited cancer syndromes, determines their role in sporadic carcinogenesis and performs molecular epidemiologic analyses as they relate to clinical applications. Using this framework, the lab examines PTEN and SDH in Cowden syndrome, which has a high risk of breast, thyroid and endometrial cancers, and SDH-related heritable neuroendocrine neoplasias. The lab examines PTEN, encoding a dual specificity phosphatase on 10q23.3, in Cowden and other hamartoma syndromes, as well as in isolated cancers. The lab pursues diverse mechanisms of PTEN inactivation for various sporadic cancers, including those of the breast, thyroid and endometrium. Eng lab researchers explore gene-gene interactions and gene-environment interactions. For example, the lab performs functional studies in order to understand the non-traditional mechanisms of somatic PTEN inactivation in breast cancer, chief of which involves nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking. This aim of this fundamental research is to not only resolve the mechanism, but also to identify novel targets for therapy and prevention. The lab examines the role of genetic alterations in the microenvironment of sporadic and heritable breast carcinomas and other solid tumors as they relate to clinical outcomes, which may have broad implications not only for pathogenesis but may reveal novel compartments germane for diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and prevention. Finally, the Eng lab is searching for Barrett esophagus-predisposing genes.
An average 10% of all cancers are due to strong alterations in genes that predispose individuals to multiple cancers, often at young ages, and that can be inherited and passed on to their children. Everyone is born with genes, whether “good” ones or “bad” ones. Scientists estimate that an individual is born with an average of 6 “bad” genes that predispose to serious illness, such as cancer. The Eng lab carries out patient-relevant research to increase genetic and genomic information resulting in intimate knowledge of human genes, which allows the creation of a roadmap for prevention and can lead to graceful aging. The Eng lab’s cancer genetics and genomics research fulfills the adage “Knowledge is Power,” empowering patients to promote health and well-being for themselves and their families.
|US Patent||Patent Title||Issue Date||First-Named Inventor|
|8,206,910||Targets for use in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of breast cancer||June 26, 2012||Charis Eng, MD, PhD|
|8,163,493||Targets for use in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of cancer||April 24, 2012||Charis Eng, MD, PhD|
|7,670,775||Method for differentiating malignant from benign thyroid tissue||March 2, 2010||Charis Eng, MD, PhD|
|6,649,359||Diagnosis of endometrial precancers||November 18, 2003||Charis Eng, MD, PhD|