Honey V. Reddi, Ph.D., studies the mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of thyroid cancer. The long-term goals of Dr. Reddi's research are to:
- Develop clinically robust molecular markers, such as microRNA (miRNA), for accurate preoperative detection of malignant disease in thyroid fine-needle aspiration biopsies (FNAB) that will also allow for effective prognosis
- Validate novel virotherapies for aggressive thyroid cancers that are resistant to current therapies
These goals are addressed using multiple models of thyroid cancer, including custom-developed cell lines as well as xenograft and transgenic mice specifically expressing different genetic alterations, such as the PAX8-PPARγ translocation, which is present in 36 percent of follicular morphotypes of thyroid cancer.
Dr. Reddi's research has been funded by the American Thyroid Association, Wendy Will Case Cancer Fund, Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.
- Role of PPARγ translocations in follicular thyroid cancer. Translocations such as PAX8-PPARγ and CREB3L2-PPARγ are present in 36 percent and 3 percent of follicular thyroid cancer cases, respectively. Dr. Reddi is working toward elucidating the mechanisms of these genetic alterations in the context of their diagnostic and prognostic potential.
- Molecular markers to distinguish benign from malignant disease in thyroid FNAB. The current gold standard for preoperative detection of malignancy is FNAB. This fails to provide a diagnosis in 15 percent of cases due to the morphological and molecular similarities between benign follicular adenoma and malignant follicular thyroid carcinoma, posing a serious clinical diagnostic challenge. Dr. Reddi is currently validating the efficacy of molecular markers, such as microRNA, for effective diagnosis of malignancy.
- Novel virotherapies for aggressive thyroid cancer. Certain thyroid cancers are resistant to routine therapies. Virotherapies have recently shown promise in clinical trials of other cancers. Dr. Reddi's research involves the validation of novel virotherapies for efficacy in these resistant thyroid cancers.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Reddi's research targets the clinical and translational aspects of thyroid cancer. Development and validation of a clinically robust molecular signature panel to accurately differentiate benign from malignant disease will have a significant clinical impact by reducing the morbidity and expense of unnecessary surgery.
Treatment of aggressive thyroid cancers that are resistant to current therapies is palliative at most, so identification of novel virotherapies will positively improve prognosis in such patients.
- Member, Strategic Planning Committee, American Thyroid Association, 2012
- Member, Women in Thyroidology Task Force, American Thyroid Association, 2012
- Young Investigator Award, Third Annual Mayo Clinic Angiogenesis Symposium, 2008