Georgia State University, USA
Hilal Arnouk has received his education and Postdoctoral training at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, State University of New York at Buffalo, Medical College of Georgia and University of Alabama at Birmingham and currently serving as a Faculty at Georgia State University. His major areas of expertise include cancer biology, tumor immunotherapy and biomarker discovery.
Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries including the United States. Early detection of various cancers, before they spread and become incurable, has been the best weapon in the war on cancer that began with the signing of the National Cancer Act in 1971. Circulating factors produced by tumors and their surrounding microenvironment constitute valuable biomarkers that aid in diagnosis of initial tumors, screening the population, monitoring of tumor progression, metastases, response to treatment and relapse (e.g., the prostate specific antigen, PSA, is routinely used for screening and diagnosis of prostate cancer). Moreover, some biomarkers can stratify patients into sub groups that differ in their prognosis and response to different treatment options, which allows designing individual treatment plans (i.e., personalized medicine). For instance, the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2-neu) is overexpressed in about 20% of breast cancer patients and can be targeted by a monoclonal antibody called Trastuzumab (Herceptin) in these patients, which enhances the overall survival when combined with chemotherapy. Recent advances in genomics and proteomics allow the de novo identification of tumor related biomarkers through differential expression analyses of the different stages of cancer progression. In recent study to identify molecular markers correlated with cervical cancer progression, we compared normal cervical epithelium and patient matched high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) with cervical carcinoma tissue from the same patient population (n=10 per group). Specimens were analyzed by a combined laser capture micro dissection and 2-D differential gel electrophoresis (DIGE) approach. Significant expression changes were detected resulting in identification of 23 unique proteins at the molecular level.