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Mohamed Abazeed, MD, PhD
The Cleveland Clinic
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO
Seeking to identify new targets for treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Laboratory studies are conducted to evaluate the role of the male hormone, androgen and anti-androgen combination therapy in models of TNBC.
These studies are important in creating a future platform for the clinical evaluation of the long-term prognostic and predictive potential of androgen in TNBC.
Triple negative breast cancer is an aggressive disease with a high rate of metastasis. There are limited treatment options for TNBC and resistance to these is a serious clinical challenge. Dr. Abazeed has shown that the male hormone, androgen, causes TNBC cells to become resistant to radiation therapy and that anti-androgen treatment in combination with radiation improves the tumor response. His current work is exploring this relationship, as well as seeking to identify combination approaches to block the effect of androgen in TNBC.
Full Research Summary
Dr. Abazeed's laboratory has been engaged in a large-scale effort that seeks to understand why cancers become resistant to therapy. They have shown that expression of the receptor that regulates androgen, the "male hormone," makes breast cancer cells more resistant to chemo and radiation therapy.
The discovery of the androgen receptor as a critical molecule that allows breast cancers to resist current therapies is a promising new avenue to establish better treatments in specific high risk groups of breast cancer patients.
Given advances in tumor profiling techniques, they are poised to perform focused trials of androgen blockade with radiotherapy in breast cancer. Their approach, which combines evaluation of biomarkers that may suggest sensitivity to treatment along with genetic information will help to design trials of personalized therapies in the near future.
Mohamed received his B.S. degree in Biochemistry in 2000 and his MD, PhD degree in 2008 from the University of Michigan. His early research focused on developing facile assays to resolve complex fundamental cellular processes. He is trained in genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics, and computational and radiation biology. He completed his clinical training at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in 2013 with an emphasis on research as a B. Leonard Holman Fellow. As a fellow, he joined the lab of Dr. Matthew Meyerson (Dana Farber Cancer Institute), an expert in the field of targeted therapy and personalized medicine. There, Mohamed facilitated multi-disciplinary collaborations that led to the development of high-throughput platforms and adaptations of computational methods to advance the field of radiation genomics. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic. His group is engaged in an ambitious program to supplant traditional non-selective radiation treatment with therapies that are informed by the genetic composition of patients’ tumors.