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Karen Sfanos, PhD

Department Affiliations Oncology, Pathology
Rank Assistant Professor
Office Phone 443-287-4592
Lab Phone 410-502-7354
Fax 410-502-9817
SOM Address 153 Cancer Research Building II

Sfanos Lab Page


Research Interests

The Sfanos lab focuses on the study of human prostate cancer, with a particular emphasis on cancer prevention strategies as well as the etiological factors that may contribute to prostate cancer initiation and/or progression. We are specifically interested in agents that may lead to chronic prostatic inflammation, such as bacterial infections and prostatic concretions called corpora amylacea. Our work is based on the hypothesis that inflammation plays a key role in the development and progression of prostate cancer, and we are extensively researching this hypothesis in both human specimens and in our recently developed animal models of prostate infection. The Sfanos lab works very closely with a prostate cancer research team with multi-disciplinary specialties including genitourinary pathology, oncology, immunology, and epidemiology in an effort to correlate discoveries in the laboratory with prostate cancer pathology, biology, and disease risk.


Research Profile

  • Sfanos K.S., Bruno T.C., Maris C.H., Xu L., Thoburn C.J., De Marzo A.M., Meeker A.K., Isaacs W.B., Drake C.G. Phenotypic analysis of prostate-infiltrating lymphocytes reveals TH17 and Treg skewing. Clinical Cancer Research. 2008; 14: 3254-3261.
  • Sfanos K.S., Wilson B.A., De Marzo A.M., Isaacs W.B. Acute inflammatory proteins constitute the organic matrix of prostatic corpora amylacea and calculi in men with prostate cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) U.S.A. 2009; 106: 3443-3448.
  • Aloia A.L.*, Sfanos K.S.*, Isaacs W.B., Zheng Q., Maldarelli F., De Marzo A.M., Rein A. XMRV: A new virus in prostate cancer? Cancer Research. 2010; 70: 10028-10033.
  • Mak, T.N., Yu, S-H., De Marzo, A.M., Br├╝ggemann, H., Sfanos, K.S. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of Propionibacterium acnes isolates from radical prostatectomy specimens. Prostate, 73(7):770-777, 2013.
  • Shinohara, D.B., Vaghasia, A., Yu, S-H., Mak, T.N., Br├╝ggemann, H., Nelson, W.G., De Marzo, A.M., Yegnasubramanian, S., Sfanos, K.S. A mouse model of chronic prostatic inflammation using a human prostate cancer-derived isolate of Propionibacterium acnes. Prostate, 73(9):1007-1015, 2013.