Georgetown University Medical Center
Professor of Oncology and Medicine
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Understanding how communication between breast cancer cells and non-cancer cells contributes to tumor progression and metastasis.
The majority of deaths related to breast cancer are caused by breast cancer that has spread to other organs—a process called metastasis—making it imperative to identify better means of combating or preventing this from occurring. In pursuit of new therapeutic targets, many researchers have looked beyond the tumor cells themselves to study the tumor microenvironment—the non-cancerous cells and structures that can support tumor growth and progression.
The team led by Dr. Lippman and others have shown that a protein called Receptor for Advanced Glycation End products (RAGE) is a highly attractive therapeutic target, as it affects both tumor cells and the numerous cells surrounding the tumor that are critical for tumor progression and metastasis. Dr. Lippman and his team have found that RAGE inhibitors are safe in preclinical laboratory models and that RAGE inhibitors may enhance the efficacy of commonly used chemotherapeutics. Importantly, their data suggest that RAGE inhibition may augment antitumor immune responses in laboratory models of breast cancer.
In the next year, the team will evaluate RAGE inhibition in combination with chemotherapy and endocrine therapy in clinically relevant models of breast cancer, employing recent experimental findings that better model antitumor immunity. Their unique models will increase the likelihood that discoveries made through their research will become translated to the clinic and positively impact patient survival.
Marc E. Lippman, MD is a professor of Oncology and co-directs the breast cancer program at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. Prior to that he was the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami Leonard School of Medicine and was Chairman of the Department of Medicine from May 2007 to May 2012 and Deputy Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Previously Dr. Lippman was the John G. Searle Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. From 1988 through 1999 he was Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Chair, Department of Oncology, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and served as Director of the Lombardi Cancer Center. Dr. Lippman served as Head of the Medical Breast Cancer Section, Medicine Branch, at the NIH. He completed a Fellowship in Endocrinology at Yale Medical School from 1973-1974. He was Clinical Associate at the NCI from 1970-1971 and Clinical Associate at the Laboratory of Biochemistry of the NCI. From 1970-1988 he served as an Officer and Medical Director of the United States Public Health Service. Dr. Lippman completed his residency on the Osler Medical Service, Johns Hopkins University Hospital from 1968-1970. He has received numerous awards including Clinical Investigator Award, American Federation for Clinical Research in 1985; Transatlantic Medal and Lecture, British Endocrine Societies, 1989; the Astwood Award, Endocrine Society, 1991; the Bernard Fisher Award, University of Pittsburgh in 1991; the AACR Rosenthal Award in April 1994, and the Brinker Award for Basic Science of the Komen Foundation in 1994.
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