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Couple’s Individual Cancer Research Published in Prestigious Cancer Journal

Dr. Susan Miranda is working to unlock the secrets of osteosarcoma cells by targeting estrogen signaling.

Susan Miranda, PhD, and Gustavo Miranda-Carboni, PhD, are cancer researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The married researchers have separate labs associated with different departments in the College of Medicine, but located on the same floor in the Cancer Research Building on campus. Their research focuses also differ.

Both recently had papers published in the journal Cancer Research for their individual research. The publication is a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Association for Cancer Research.

“We have separate labs and we are in separate departments, but we help each other in many aspects, and we are authors on each other’s papers, too,” Dr. Miranda said. She publishes under her maiden name of Krum.

She in an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering in the College of Medicine. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine/Hematology in the same college.

Dr. Miranda’s manuscript is titled, “Activation of Estrogen Receptor Alpha by Decitabine Inhibits Osteosarcoma Growth and Metastasis.” She and her team are working to find ways to prevent growth of osteosarcoma cells by targeting estrogen signaling.

“This year, it is estimated that 800 children will be diagnosed with osteosarcoma,” Dr. Miranda said. “It is thought that sex hormones play a role in the onset of the disease, as more boys than girls get osteosarcoma and the cancer develops at the time of puberty. We hypothesize that a key molecule in estrogen signaling that is crucial for normal bone is turned off in osteosarcomas, preventing those cells from being normal bone.

“We showed that we can turn back on that key estrogen signaling protein (estrogen receptor alpha) and slow down osteosarcoma growth in vitro and in pre-clinical models,” she said.

This work is supported by a St. Baldrick’s Fund Research Grant with generous support from the Sweet Caroline Fund.

Dr. Gustavo Miranda-Carboni is working to develop targeted therapeutics for lung metastasis with triple negative breast cancer.

Dr. Miranda-Carboni’s paper is titled, “The WNT10B-network is associated with survival and metastases in chemoresistant-triple negative breast cancer.”

“Memphis has a particularly high rate of this type of breast cancer, due to health disparities,” he said. “Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) commonly develops resistance to chemotherapy, yet markers predictive of chemoresistance in this disease are lacking.”

“We propose that targeting the WNT10B biomarker network will provide improved outcomes for TNBC,” he said.