Hannelore Heemers, PhD
Associate Staff, Cancer Biologyheemerh@ccf.org 216.445.7357 (o) 216.445.6269 (f)
Member, GU Malignancies Program
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. With few exceptions, the 30,000 prostate cancer deaths that occur annually in the United States are due to failure of androgen deprivation therapy. Androgen deprivation therapy targets the genomic action of the androgen receptor. Our laboratory’s research program focuses on generating insights into the specific molecular mechanisms by which the androgen receptor drives prostate cancer progression. The long term goal of our group is 1. to develop novel prostate cancer-selective forms of androgen deprivation therapy and 2. to optimize and personalize the administration of available forms of androgen deprivation therapy. We pursue these goals through 2 lines of research that study coregulator-dependent direct mechanisms of androgen action and an SRF-dependent indirect mechanism of androgen action. Central to our research efforts are integrated approaches that combine an understanding of the basic mechanism of androgen-dependent gene transcription, systems biology approaches designed to answer specific questions, and clinical relevance of our research findings. This work is done via multidisciplinary collaborations with physicians and scientists from the Departments of Cancer Biology, Urology, Hematology/Medical Oncology and Pathology, and involves a growing number of national and international collaborations.