Drs. Levine’s and Kirschenbaum’s Laboratory focuses on understanding how hormones and growth factors coordinately regulate prostate growth in order to develop new treatment strategies for men with prostatic disorders. Co-directed by Dr. Alexander Kirschenbaum, Clinical Associate Professor of Urology, her group were the first to publish on the successful management of benign prostatic hyperplasia with hormonal therapy. They also reported that androgens increase stromal cell growth in the prostate and also regulate the powerful angiogenic factor, vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF). Dr. Levine’s group were also among the first to determine the cell-specific expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the human prostate and to report that selective COX-2 inhibitors kill prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. They established the role of COX-2 in hypoxia mediated upregulation of survival and angiogenic proteins in human prostate cancer cells. Dr. Levine’s group isolated and characterized a protein derived from dietary bitter melon seeds that selectively kills pre-neoplastic and neoplastic prostate cancer cells.
The lab has also published extensively on the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer bone metastases. The current focus of the lab is the development of new therapies for bone metastatic prostate cancer. Read More.