Past Research

1. Cancer Care Engineering (CCE)

These studies involve collaboration with the Purdue Cancer Center and the IU Cancer Center to examine potential susceptibility factors in human colon cancer induction. Our part of the study involves the examination of oxidative stress and inflammatory components using the comet assay, as well as, changes in gene expression and examination of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In addition to the studies in our lab, other studies looking at metabolomics, genomics, lipidomics and pathology are being performed by the group. The overall purpose is to utilize these data along with the patient data to produce predictive models for both susceptibility to colon caner and possible use in selective individualized treatment. (JE Klaunig)

The CCE project addresses the cancer problem using system engineering principles. The project has two main goals: to identify molecular signatures in blood that are predictive for colon cancer development, progression and treatment response; and to identify the barriers to effective colon cancer prevention strategies (colonoscopies) and optimal care delivery. The extensive team of researchers is critically poised to rapidly re-configure existing and develop new analytical technologies for commercialization to measure identified “omic” biomarkers that are predictive for colon cancer development and progression. The project will generate data for the rapid visualization of colon cancer incidence and mortality by region throughout Indiana and correlate those data with reates of colonoscopies and other preventative care. (Purdue University Discovery Park)


2. Role of Oxidative Damage in the Susceptibility of Neurodegenerative Disease

These studies are being performed in concert with Dr. Andy Saykin at the Indiana University School of Medicine. These studies are looking at the role of oxidative stress and oxidative damage utilizing patients with varying stages of progression of disease that are undergoing neuroimaging. The overall purpose of this study is to see if there is a correlation between the extent and development of the neurodegenerative disease and its susceptibility with genetically based oxidative damage in the individual. These studies are ongoing.

3. Role of Oxidative Damage and Stress in Chemo Brain

Following chemotherapy a subset of patients frequently develop cognitive dysfunction at varying degrees. The reason for the development of cognitive dysfunction is unclear. Some preliminary studies have suggested that modulation and production of oxidative damage in the individuals that are susceptible to the cognitive dysfunction following chemotherapy may be a mechanism by which this event occurs. Our studies to date have shown a correlation between the induction and susceptibility to oxidative damage and chemo brain induction. This study is ongoing.

4. Role of Oxidative Stress and Gene Expression in Pancreatic Cancer Susceptibility

In a study funded by the IU Cancer Center to JE Klaunig, a preliminary project was recently completed examining individuals with pancreatic cancer along with genetically linked and environmentally linked cohorts. These studies utilize both modulations of gene expression and SNP analysis of selected genes involved in inflammation, oxidative damage and P450 metabolism. In addition, oxidative damage was measured using the comet assay. Results to date have shown only a correlation between pancreatic cancer and the presence of DNA damage in peripheral lymphocytes taken from the pancreatic cancer patients. No significant increase in oxidative stress or oxidative damage was seen, nor correlations between SNPs involved in oxidative stress and inflammatory other components were evident.

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