Dr. Flannery is interested in the effect of insulin resistance and diabetes on endometrial pathology. Insulin resistance is an underlying problem in obesity, the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Women with obesity, PCOS, or Type 2 diabetes mellitus have a higher risk of irregular bleeding, implantation failure, miscarriage, endometrial hyperplasia, and endometrial carcinoma.
We are currently investigating the origin of ovarian cancer. Studies in the laboratory have shown that tumor initiating cells are attracted to the ovaries following ovulation and once the malignant cells reach the ovaries, the ovaries are able to provide a “fertile soil” that can support tumor initiation. These findings have open the opportunity for the development of new venues to prevent ovarian cancer by inhibiting the factors associated with the recruitment of transformed cells towards the ovaries. Furthermore it has provided the identification of new makers for early detection.
The current research of our laboratory is focused on 1) disruption of the homologous recombination (HR) repair pathway as concurrent therapy to sensitize chemoresistant and sporadic ovarian cancer; 2) inhibition of the AKT/mTOR pathway to synergize with platinum and PARP inhibitor therapy in BRCA- associated ovarian cancer; 3) gene expression profiling to identify molecular targets for synthetic lethal approaches in chemoresistant and sporadic ovarian cancer; 4) blockade of the p53 pathway as therapeutic strategy for chemo-sensitizing p53-wild type ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer stem cells.
Dr. Santin is a skilled gynecologic oncologist and talented clinical scientist who has a strong background in training and mentoring talented young physician-scientists. Dr. Santin’s research and clinical accomplishments have been published in high-impact journals in the cancer research field, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, and the Journal of Virology, while numerous additional publications have been reported in subspecialty journals.