Kristen A. Atkins, MD
Biomarkers for ovarian and uterine malignancies
The Atkins laboratory utilizes proteomic approaches such as 2 dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectroscopy to better classify and detect breast and gynecologic malignancies. A majority of the work in the last year has centered on uterine smooth muscle neoplasms. Western immunoblotting on fresh frozen tissue and immunohistochemistry on paraffin embedded tissue has shown the paradoxical overexpression of p16 in leiomyosarcomas. In addition, these tumors have inconsistent absence of total Rb or increased pRb, further supporting a defect in the p16/Rb pathway. This information may prove useful in better classifying those tumors that have ambiguous histologic features (i.e. those not diagnostic of benign or malignant lesions), aid in clinical management, giving prognosis. This research made use of the Biostatistics Core and the Tissue Procurement and Research Histology Cores.
Dr. Atkins also has active collaborations with other members of the Cancer Center and provides histologic, immunohistochemical and translational research assistance. The two major studies include "Biomarker detection of ovarian cancer in saliva" with Dr. A. Jazaeri and "Protein detection in breast ductal lavages and nipple aspirates" with Dr. D. Brenin. In both instances the lab provides the groundwork for the preparation of samples and evaluation of IEF and 2DGE.