Dr. Pienta is involved in research to define the tumor microenvironment of prostate cancer metastases, as well as developing new therapies for prostate cancer. Current research projects in the lab are studying why prostate cancer preferentially disseminate to the bone and can remain dormant for many years before returning to a proliferative phenotype that results in metastatic disease. Additionally, his research team is looking at ways to isolate, identify, and characterize these disseminated tumor cells so that new therapies can be designed to target them prior to becoming “reactivated” and metastatic.
van der Toom EE, Verdone JE, Pienta KJ. Disseminated tumor cells and dormancy in prostate cancer metastasis. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2016 PMID: 26900985.
Amend SR, Roy S, Brown JS, Pienta KJ. Ecological paradigms to understand the dynamics of metastasis. Cancer Lett. 2016 PMID: 26458994.
Pienta KJ, Robertson BA, Coffey DS, Taichman RS. The cancer diaspora: Metastasis beyond the seed and soil hypothesis. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 PMID: 24100626.
Jung Y, Shiozawa Y, Wang J, McGregor N, Dai J, Park SI, Berry JE, Havens AM, Joseph J, Kim JK, Patel L, Carmeliet P, Daignault S, Keller ET, McCauley LK, Pienta KJ, Taichman RS. Prevalence of prostate cancer metastases after intravenous inoculation provides clues into the molecular basis of dormancy in the bone marrow microenvironment. Neoplasia. 2012 PMID: 22745589.
Shiozawa Y, Pedersen EA, Havens AM, Jung Y, Mishra A, Joseph J, Kim JK, Patel LR, Ying C, Ziegler AM, Pienta MJ, Song J, Wang J, Loberg RD, Krebsbach PH, Pienta KJ, Taichman RS. Human prostate cancer metastases target the hematopoietic stem cell niche to establish footholds in mouse bone marrow. J Clin Invest. 2011 PMID: 21436587.