Ongoing Basic Science Research Studies

The Hepatobiliary Cancer Laboratory is engaged in ongoing basic science research projects that study diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatobiliary cancers.

Dr. Roberts is directing several ongoing cancer studies:

The Oncogenic Role of Sulfatases 1 (SULF1) and 2 (SULF2) in Hepatobiliary Cancers

The Hepatobiliary Cancer Lab has shown that SULF1 can have both tumor suppressor and oncogenic effects, while SULF2 has primarily oncogenic effects. Dr. Roberts and his research team are studying SULF inhibitors to treat hepatocellular carcinoma and SULF1/2 roles in cholangiocarcinoma.

The Role and Mechanism of UCK2 Gene in Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

This research project studies the role of UCK2 in hepatocellular carcinoma and how it influences the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Through this study, the research team is detecting the function of UCK2 and determining whether this gene can be a potential target for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

The Oncogenic Role of Hepatitis B Virus Integration Into the Host Genome in Liver Cancer

The Hepatobiliary Cancer Lab is identifying the key functions and pathways related to hepatitis B virus integration by examination of specific hepatitis B virus integration events.

In particular, Dr. Roberts and his team are testing the hypothesis that HBx gene insertion leads to tumorigenesis by transactivating the hTERT promoter.

Effect of IDH1/2 Mutations on the Tumor Microenvironment in Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma

This project studies the influence of IDH1/2 mutations on tumor environment in vitro and in vivo.

The lab's research team is determining whether this effect contributes to tumor progression and will further explain the related underlying mechanisms.

Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) Family Gene Aberrations in Cholangiocarcinoma

Fusions of fibroblast growth factor receptor genes with other partner genes were recently discovered in cholangiocarcinoma.

The Hepatobiliary Cancer Lab is identifying and characterizing fibroblast growth factor receptor family gene aberrations and determining the effectiveness of targeting the aberrations in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.

Funding source: Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, Christopher J. Wilke Memorial Research Fellowship grants.

Drug Resistance Mechanisms Induced by FGFR Inhibitors in Cholangiocarcinoma

Drug resistance to fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitors (FGFR) has emerged as a major challenge to their clinical use.

The lab's research team is investigating the mechanisms of resistance to selected FGFR inhibitors.

Preclinical In Vitro and In Vivo Evidence of Anti-Tumor Effect of CX-4945, a Casein Kinase II (CK2) Inhibitor, in Cholangiocarcinoma

The Hepatobiliary Cancer Lab is testing the effectiveness of the novel CK2 inhibitor, CX-4945, on cholangiocarcinoma.

Positive findings will support further evaluation in clinical trials using the combination of CX-4945 with gemcitabine and cisplatin and may provide a new therapeutic option for patients with cholangiocarcinoma.