(November 7, 2011 – Toronto, ON)
Dr. Andrei Drabovich, a post-doctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Eleftherios Diamandis (Lunenfeld Associate Scientist, and Hold’em for Life Chair in Prostate Cancer Biomarkers) was recently awarded the Norm Hollend Fellowship in Oncology Research.
With this generous support, Dr. Drabovich plans to continue his work on prostate cancer biomarkers, moving one step closer to the early detection of prostate cancer.
“I am very excited to be in the field of clinical biochemistry and cancer research,” says Dr. Drabovich. “This allows me to not only investigate the fundamental molecular basis of diseases, but also search for biomarkers that can be used in clinics in the near future. The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute is the ideal place for such research due to the stimulating scientific atmosphere, excellent equipment, generous research funding and close collaborations between clinical and academic scientists.”
In Canada, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed neoplasm and the third leading cause of cancer mortality in men. The current strategy to reduce prostate cancer mortality is early diagnosis, through the use of biomarkers. Current research suggests that Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA), the most common biomarker to detect prostate cancer, has some limitations that lead to large numbers of surgeries in patients without cancer. Thus, there has been an intense work on the identification of new prostate cancer biomarkers.
“In our search for prostate cancer biomarkers, we will use mass spectrometry, an analytical instrumentation for the identification and quantification of thousands of proteins in biological samples. Using this approach, we have recently discovered several protein biomarkers (TEX101, LDHC) to diagnose male infertility,” says Dr. Drabovich. He plans to use a similar strategy to find biomarkers of prostate cancer and possibly differentiate between its aggressive and non-aggressive forms. This work will be done in a close collaboration with the Murray Koffler Urologic Wellness Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, which will eventually translate discoveries into routine assays for use in the urology clinics.