Intercellular Communication and Therapeutic Bystander Effects in Head and Neck Cancer

Photo of technician in a laboratoryPrincipal Investigator: Douglas K. Frank, M.D.

Objective: To explore the role that gap junctional intercellular channels play in mediating therapeutic bystander effects in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).

Overview: Gap junctions are intercellular channels that physiologically connect one cell to the next. This normal phenotype is commonly lost during head and neck carcinogenesis. We are exploring the role that gap junctions may play in communicating cell death signals from SCCHN cells that have received an apoptosis inducing therapy to untreated but physically adjacent cells (bystander effect). Potential mediators of the bystander effect are being investigated. Enhancing gap junctional intercellular communication in SCCHN may ultimately have clinical therapeutic implications.

Contact Information: Douglas K. Frank, M.D., (212) 979-4200

PHOTO: Head and Neck Cancer Molecular Biology Research Laboratory
at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

Funding:

New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Investigator Development Award, January, 2000.
The American Head and Neck Society/American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Young Investigator Research Development Award, July, 2000
Singer-Hellman Foundation Research Grant, Beth Israel Medical Center, July, 2000.

Selected Publications & Presentations:

Frank, DK. Gene Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer. Surgical Oncology Clinics of North America 2002; 11:589-606. [Abstract]

Nakashima T, Sun SY, Lotan R, Frank DK, Clayman G. All-Trans-Retinoic acid synergistically enhances the effect of adenovirus-mediated wild-type p53 gene transfer in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Presented at the 5th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer, San Francisco, CA, July-August 2000.

Frank DK, Frederick MJ, Liu TJ, Clayman GL, A bystander effect in the adenovirus-mediated wild-type p53 gene therapy model of human squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Clinical Cancer Research 1998; 4:2521-2527. [Abstract]

Frank DK, Frederick MJ, Liu TJ, Clayman GL. A bystander effect in the adenovirus-mediated wild-type p53 gene therapy model of human squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Head and Neck Surgery, Palm Beach, FL, May 1998.

Related Information: Other Research Projects in Head and Neck Oncology

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