The NYU School of Medicine has awarded a one-year Center of Excellence grant to an NYU College of Dentistry professor to study how bladder tumors progress to invasive cancer.
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the eighth most common in women, with over 50,000 new cases and 14,000 bladder cancer-related deaths reported annually in the United States. Molecules found in tobacco smoke, processed meats, and rubber products have been linked to bladder cancer, and the new study, led by Dr. Joseph Guttenplan, a Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology at the College of Dentistry, will focus on one such molecule, known as BBN, or N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl) nitrosamine.
Dr. Guttenplan will investigate how BBN damages the DNA of mice to create mutations leading to cancer. He will also examine whether certain enzymes increase BBN's toxicity to determine why some mice develop mutations and others do not. His findings could aid in the development of genetic tests to identify those individuals at a high risk for bladder cancer and also contribute to the development of new drugs or dietary supplements to prevent the disease. Dr. Guttenplan's laboratory is one of only a handful of laboratories in the U.S. that can analyze and measure mutations in mouse organs. Dr. Guttenplan also uses mouse mutation analysis for oral cancer research.
NYU's Senior Vice Provost for Research, Dr. Pierre Hohenberg, provided supplemental funding for the study. Dr. Xue-Ru Wu, Co-Director of the Center of Excellence on Urologic Disease at the NYU School of Medicine, is a coinvestigator on the grant.