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Samantha Torquato

Class 2014
Education BA, Smith College
Email storqua1@jhmi.edu
Mentor

Dr. Paula Hurley

Research Interests

Prostate cancer (PCa) remains a leading cause of death due to the subset of cancers that metastasize. A better understanding of who is at risk for metastatic recurrence would greatly impact clinical disease management. Our recent efforts have focused on defining molecular subtypes of PCa with the aim of improving prognostic and predictive markers. We propose that there are four intrinsic and mutually exclusive molecular subtypes of PCa (ERG+, ETS+, SPINK+, and Triple Negative).  We analyzed multi-institutional cohorts and identified Membrane Metallo-Endopeptidase (MME) as a significant outlier found within Triple Negative cancers.  Our multivariable analyses demonstrated that MME+ cancers were significantly associated with metastatic progression and worse clinicopathological features, such as Gleason grade. However, the factors that induce MME in PCa and the functional role of MME in PCa are not well known. Since a better understanding of these mechanisms will establish new insights into MME regulation and may also have broad implications for the treatment of PCa, I aim to determine both the biologic and mechanistic roles of MME in regulating tumor and metastatic progression in PCa.