Medicine - Otolaryngology
Epigenetic alteration in Schistosome associated bladder cancer of African population
In Africa, particularly areas where the parasite, Schistosoma haematobium (SH) endemic, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the bladder frequently occurs, It is more invasive than urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC). There is evidence from Egypt that SH associated bladder SCC (SH-SCC) is the most common form of all
cancers seen in that country, but there is a scarcity of information about the prevalence of this cancer from communities in other endemic areas. Two recent reviews of bladder cancer in Africa exist but data on the extent of the problem are sparse. More molecular information about the pathological processes involved in SHSCC may shed light on the initiation and progression of this disease. We plan to collaborate with Portuguese and Angolan colleagues to dissect the molecular alteration of SH-SCC. Successful completion of this exploratory study will open a fertile avenue for basic research that eventually help in the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies for this infection associated endemic cancer.
It likely that the model for SH-SCC carcinogenesis will involve a unique pattern or set of genes. Therefore, we cannot rely on simply evaluating known tumor-related genes involved in other cancers including UCC of the bladder. Our overall hypothesis is that a specific pattern of genetic and epigenetic alterations occur due to chronic inflammation induced by SH and ultimately SH-SCC initiate and progress. To prove our hypothesis and to apply for an NIH RO1grant in response to PA-11-158, we are now accumulating preliminary data. FGGHR support will facilitate our endeavors to this initiative
Clive Shiff, Public Health, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology