Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Feinberg School of Medicine
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We are studying hormone and products of hormone action in nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) and breast random fine-needle aspirates (rFNA)from women with different levels of breast cancer risk to ascertain the associations of hormones with the potential for breast cancer development. The association of hormones and products of hormone action in the breast and serum with polymorphisms of enzymes involved in transport, biosynthesis, and metabolism is being studied. Several of the polymorphisms have shown breast-specific effects on the steroid parameters. The rFNA samples are being assayed for hormones and, in collaboration with investigators at Johns Hopkins, methylation patterns of potential tumor suppressor genes. In addition, we are studyiing single strand breaks in DNA of these specimens by a quantitative nick translation procedure. These data will be compared to expression levels of tumor suppressor genes. We are also funded to study the potential for transdermal application of the biologically active metabolites of tamoxifen and fulvestrant to the breast as an alternative to oral administration of tamoxifen. We are working with Dr. Seungpyo Hong at UIC to develop more efficient nanoparticle delivery systems for this application. Potentially, this will eliminate some of the undesirable side-effects of tamoxifen that cause a majority of women to reject the prophylactic use of tamoxifen.