My clinical and scientific research contributed to better understanding the mechanisms of resistance to monoclonal antibodies targeting CD20 in B-cell lymphoma, development of novel therapeutic strategies for patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphomas, and to the identification of biomarkers of response to targeted agents. Our group of investigators is actively involved in clinical, translational and laboratory-based research projects, in an attempt to gain a better understanding of pathogenesis, prognostic factors, and cellular/molecular features associated with the development of “resistance” in these lymphoid neoplasms. Our research focuses in 1) improving the biological activity of monoclonal antibodies against b-cell lymphoma; 2) overcoming rituximab-chemotherapy resistance in b-cell lymphoma; 3) evaluate novel small molecule inhibitors targeting key-regulatory pathways in lymphomas; 4) identification of biomarkers of response to currentlycurrent available therapies in patients with B-cell lymphoma; and 5) applying our pre-clinical work in the rational design of clinical trials for patients with lymphomas.
Our group set up and developed the translational research lymphoma program based primarily on the use of targeted treatment of lymphoma. We have several laboratory projects that can be divided in two group: 1) projects related to understanding the mechanisms of rituximab-chemotherapy resistance in B-cell malignancies and 2) projects focused in developing novel therapeutic strategies for patients with B-cell lymphomas. Our current work centers in the following objectives:
- Improving the biological activity of monoclonal antibodies against B-cell lymphomas.
- Overcoming rituximab-chemotherapy resistance in B-cell lymphoma.
- Targeting rituximab resistant B-cell lymphomas with low surface CD20 levels.
- Altering the balance of Bcl-2 family members levels using BH3 mimetics, inhibitory of apoptosis proteins (IAP) inhibitors and/or histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors.
- Restoring the apoptotic threshold to chemotherapy drugs by blocking the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS).
- Targeting hexokinase II (HKII)-VDAC complex in rituximab-resistant lymphoma.
- Identification of biomarkers of response to current available therapies in patients with B-cell lymphoma.
- Juan Gu, Ph.D. Translational Research Scientist
- Cory Mavis, Sr. Research Specialist
- Thomas Ippolito, Research Specialist
- Pallawi Torka, MD