Molecular Mechanisms, Biomarkers and Therapies


According to the American Cancer Society, there will be over 160,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States, accounting for over one in five new cancer diagnoses.

For patients with advanced disease, a major challenge in treatment is the cancer’s therapeutic resistance to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) and chemotherapy. Overriding this resistance requires a depth understanding of mechanisms, biomarkers and therapies for prostate cancer.

At the Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center, we are focused on identifying biomarkers or biological differences between more or less aggressive prostate cancers. Our labs are studying epithelial and phenotypic, pathology and molecular mechanisms that drive prostate cancer progression and resistance to treatment


Main Focus Areas:

  • Interrogation of molecular mechanisms driving prostate cancer progression and resistance to treatment
  • Use of urine-, blood- and tissue-based, and imaging biomarkers to better identify patients in need of treatment and to individually tailor treatment
  • Examination of tissue and circulating biomarkers to understand how cancer changes and adapts in order to reduce and prevent metastasis
  • Development of therapies based on molecular mechanisms underlying progression and resistance to treatment, and to overcome heterogeneity and plasticity 

Key Publications & Grants:

  • NCI 1R01CA172603 (Huang) 7/13 - 6/18

    A Novel Strategy to Identify Prostate Cancer Biomarkers for Patient Management

  • PCF Movember Challenge Award (Armstrong) 6/14 -6/17

    Validation of AR-V7 as a Predictive Biomarker in the Context of the Molecular Landscape of CRPC CTCs

  • NCI 1R01CA181242 (Chao)  1/15 - 12/20

    The identification of DNA methylation markers for risk of metastasis in localized prostate cancer

  • NCI 1R01CA205001 (Huang)  7/16 - 6/21

    Histologic and Immunohistochemical Biomarkers for Heavily Treated Metastatic Prostate Cancer

  • PCF Prostate Cancer Precision Oncology Special Challenge Award (Huang) 1/17-12/19

    The PROMOTE Program: Precision Oncology and Molecular Targeting in Advanced Prostate Cancer