OCT 10, 2018 10:30 AM PDT

Microbiome Signatures in Gynecologic Cancers

Speaker
  • Associate Consultant, Department of Surgery & Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Assistant Professor, Microbiome Program, Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic
    Biography
      Marina Walther-Antonio, PhD is an Associate Consultant in the Department of Surgery and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and an Assistant Professor in the Microbiome Program at Mayo Clinic. She leads an interdisciplinary research program that studies the role of the human microbiome in women's health, and in gynecologic cancers in particular. In order to achieve this, Dr. Walther-Antonio and her research team have characterized the female reproductive tract microbiome in benign gynecologic conditions, cancer precursors, and endometrial and ovarian cancer manifestation. Their efforts have resulted in the identification of microbiota markers for endometrial cancer and in the development of translational approaches towards early detection and prevention of the disease. The ultimate goal is to pinpoint intervention opportunities that are amenable to modification of disease risk or can diminish the use of aggressive therapeutic options. Dr. Walther-Antonio's ovarian cancer research is concentrated on the search for an early detection microbiome biomarker and mechanistic role in response to therapy involving monitoring during a clinical trial and patient derived xenograft mouse model. Because mechanistic microbiome studies benefit from complex host/microbe interrogation with a cellular level of resolution, the research team is also focused on the development and application of single-cell microfluidic technologies, such as Optofluidics and Digital Microfluidics.

    Abstract

    The microbiome signatures in the context of gynecologic cancers (endometrial and ovarian) and the potential for their clinical use will be discussed. The use of microfluidic technologies to interrogate the role of these microbes in the disease processes and interference with treatment will also be addressed.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learn how the vaginal microbiome can be used to detect endometrial cancer
    2. Study ovarian cancer microbiome use as a prognostic tool
    3. Explore the use of microfluidic technologies for a single cell level of mechanistic interrogation for the role of the microbiome in gynecologic cancers 


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