The Sarcoma Molecular Biology Laboratory (SMBL), is under the direction of Zhenfeng Duan, MD, PhD and Orthopaedic Oncology Service Chief, Francis J. Hornicek, MD, PhD. The focus of the Laboratory’s work is to study the molecular biology of sarcoma and to examine the mechanisms of multidrug resistance, to identify small molecules and targets to reverse drug resistance and to understand the characterization of molecular mechanisms governing growth, and the proliferation of human sarcoma cells.
The overall objectives of the laboratory are to explore biological mechanisms of tumors arising in bone and other tissues. One of the major focuses is to elucidate the mechanisms of the development of drug resistance in cancer. Previously, we have found multidrug resistance could be partially reversed by siRNA targeting of ABCB1 (MDR1) or by combination of nanoparticles with chemotherapy drug. Recently, we have identified two small molecules that can overcome drug resistance in vitro and in vivo. Another significant aim of the research is to define the essential kinases that are responsible for proliferation and survival of human sarcoma cells. In addition translational research into new treatment options for sarcoma patients has been undertaken.
The Sarcoma Molecular Biology Laboratory has published articles pertaining to multiple drug resistance in human cancer. Research projects on sarcoma biology have received funding from a variety of sources including NIH, foundations, corporate sponsors, and benefactors.
Current Research Projects:
Doxorubicin, with stains red, has only partially penetrated these drug resistant osteosarcoma cells. The black cell centers indicate low drug levels in the nuclei.
Nanoparticle-packaged doxorubicin has more completely penetrated these drug resistant osteosarcoma cells. The red centers indicate more effective drug uptake.