Genetics of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer in men and the costliest to treat over a patient’s lifetime. While non-muscle invasive bladder cancer is treated relatively conservatively, muscle invasive bladder cancer portends an increased risk of metastatic spread and is therefore treated aggressively. Projects determining whether there are distinct molecular subtypes of muscle invasive bladder cancer as well as what defines these intrinsic subtypes are underway.
The Kim lab uses GEM models and patient-derived xenografts (PDX) to understand the functional consequences of genomic events in solid tumors and decipher the impact of tumor heterogeneity on treatment response, including most recently immunotherapy.
Genetics & Epigenetics of Renal Cell Carcinoma
Approximately 65,000 new cases of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) occur annually in the United States and its incidence is on the rise. Targeted and whole exome sequencing of RCC has validated that the majority of clear cell RCC have genetic or epigenetic alterations in the VHL tumor suppressor gene, which is rarely inactivated in other solid tumors (Kim WY and Kaelin WG, JCO, 2004). There also appears to be a high rate of inactivating mutations among genes involved in histone and chromatin modification, suggesting that epigenetic events may play an important role in RCC tumorigenesis. Projects examining the functional consequences of RCC on gene expression and chromatin organization are ongoing.