Cancer Research

As part of our comprehensive approach to treating cancer in its many forms, laboratory research continues to play an essential role in our Cancer Center of Excellence. Learn more about how our doctors are working to make further inroads into the understanding and treatment of cancer.

Current Cancer Research

The Lymphoma Research Laboratory

As a tenured Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University (WSU), Dr. Al-Katib is involved in bench research in lymphoma where he heads the Lymphoma Research Laboratory. His research is focused on developing and testing new targeted therapies for cancers of the lymphatic system in animal models. Dr. Al-Katib has established xenograft models for different lymphoid tumors in mice like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, and follicular small cleaved cell lymphoma. These models are widely acknowledged and utilized by investigators world-wide.

Current research involves targeting and disabling selected “bad” genes (oncogenes) like the B-cell lymphoma 2 gene family (Bcl-2) or activating “good” genes (tumor suppressor genes like p53). Such genetic manipulation is accomplished by small molecule inhibitors that selectively target lymphoma cells. Some of these agents are promising and are advancing to clinical trials.

Another research direction in Dr. Al-Katib’s laboratory is to test antibody drug conjugates. This approach builds on the success of monoclonal antibody therapy (like Rituximab) in lymphoma. In one project we tested a new antibody to CD19 antigen conjugated with a cytotoxic agent known as SAR 3419. We found that SAR 3419 was much more effective than chemotherapy or Rituximab.

New treatment agents which are promising in animal model testing will be advanced to clinical trials which will be conducted at the Lymphoma Clinic.

For questions or additional information please contact the Lymphoma Clinic at 313-647-3245.

Selected publications From The Lymphoma Research Laboratory:

  1. Firas Yazigi, Anuradha Kolluru, and Ayad M Al-katib. Tumor Lysis Syndrome as a Consequence of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment With Fludarabine and Rituximab. J Med Cases • 2011;2(5):188-189.
  2. Emily Z. Touloukian, Sara S. Riaz, and Robert E. Bloom. Usefulness of Retrospective Analysis of BART Eligibility. The Open Breast Cancer Journal, 2012, 4, 8-10.
  3. Jacob Juta, Gokulakkrishna Subhas, Tafadzwa Makarawo, Patrick McLaughlin, Ralph Pearlman, and Alasdair McKendrick. Prostatic Marker Needles to Define the Anterior Dissection Planes during APR for Rectal Cancers in Patients with Previous Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer. J Gastrointest Surg (2012) 16:408–410.
  4. Mary Hicks, RN, MSN, APRN and Elizabeth Distefano, RN, BSN. Universal Screening for Palliative Needs.
  5. Paul J. Chuba, MD, PhD. A Pilot Study of Low-Dose Anti-Angiogenic Chemotherapy in Combination With Standard Multiagent Chemotherapy for Patients With Newly Diagnosed Metastatic Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumors: A Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Phase II Study NCT00061893. DOI 10.1002/pbc.24328.
  6. Sarah Daniel, BS, Cyrus Rabbani, BS, Amr Aref, MD, Roy Taylor, MS, Divya Patel, PhD, Paul J. Chuba, MD, PhD. Three-Dimensional Visualization and Dosimetry of Stranded Source Migration Following Prostate Seed Implant.
  7. Amr Aref and Richard Berri. Role of Radiation Therapy in the Management of Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2011.40.8674.
  8. Navin Anthony, James Shanks, Howard Terebelo. Occurrences of Opportunistic Infections in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Patients Treated with Imatinib Mesylate.
  9. Al-Katib A, et al. I-Kappa-Kinase-2 (IKK-2) inhibition potentiates vincristine cytotoxicity in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Mol Cancer 9:228, 2010.
  10. Mohammad R, et al. An MDM2 antagonist (MI-319) restores p53 functions and increases the life span of orally treated follicular lymphoma bearing animals. Mol Cancer, December 3:8:115, 2009.
  11. Al-Katib A, et al. Superior anti-tumor activity of the CD19-directed immunotoxin, SAR3419 to rituximab in xenograft models for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Clin Cancer Research June 15;15(12):4038-45, 2009.
  12. Al-Katib A, et al. SMI of Bcl-2 TW-37 is active across a spectrum of B-cell tumors irrespective of their proliferative and differentiation status. J Hematol Oncol Feb 16;2:8, 2009.