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Susan Lanza-Jacoby, PhD

Contact Dr. Lanza-Jacoby

1025 Walnut Street
College Building, Suite 603
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 955-7903

Research Interests

1. Cyclooxygenase and breast cancer:

Cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors and breast cancer.
Many studies have shown that regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen is protective against colon cancer. Recently researchers are also finding that the NSAIDs may reduce the risk of breast cancer. The anti-tumor effect of NSAIDs may be due to their inhibitor effect on prostaglandins. Yet, recently studies have show that NSAIDs may increase apoptosis and inhibit angiogenesis. Elevated amounts of COX-2 have been found in human breast tumors, breast cancer cell lines, and animal mammary tumors. Thus, blocking COX-2 may be an important strategy in preventing the formation and growth of mammary tumors. We have demonstrated that COX-2 inhibitors reduced the incidence of mammary tumors in a mouse model of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer. Prevently, we are using a multi-targeting approach to block the epidermal growth factor receptor and COX-2 for more a more effective prevention strategy.

2. Chemoenhancing effects of dietary nutrients.

Although treatment of patients with breast cancer has improved, there is still no effective therapy for treating breast tumors that overexpress the oncogene HER-2/neu. Overexpression of HER-2/neu leads to resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. There is extensive evidence that high consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale are associated with reduced risk of many types of cancer including breast. Indole 3 carbinol (I3C), which is present in cruciferous vegetables, and its major acid condensation product, diindolylmethane (DIM) have been shown to be protective against prostate, cervical, and breast cancer. We plan to test whether combining DIM with a chemotherapeutic agent such as docetaxel will retard tumor growth and also reduce the dose required for optimum outcome. Docetaxel inhibits angiogenesis; however overexpression of HER-2/neu may block the effects of docetaxel by increasing activation of signaling pathways. Since our preliminary findings indicate thatDIM can inhibit the angiogenic factors, we will investigate whether DIM will improve the therapeutic effectiveness of docetaxel by blocking angiogensis .