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Advisory Board

Our mission is focused on two very challenging objectives. The first is the assessment of the impact that the combined effects of low-dose chemical exposures in the environment have on cancer, and finding practical strategies that can minimize those risks. While the second is focused on the need for a broad-spectrum approach to cancer prophylaxis and therapy. Accordingly, we have two very impressive groups of scientists from prominent labs around the world who have agreed to serve as scientific advisors for this initiative (see below).

Broad-spectrum Cancer Therapy

Keith I. Block, MD (USA) - Dr Block is an internationally recognized expert in integrative oncology. Dr. Block combines cutting-edge conventional treatment with individualized and scientifically-based complementary and nutraceutical therapies. In 1980, he co-founded the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Evanston, Illinois, the first such facility in North America, and serves as its Medical and Scientific Director. Dr. Block is currently Director of Integrative Medical Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. Additionally, he is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Education, where he has collaborated with colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Bar Ilan University in Israel. In 2005, he was appointed to the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query (PDQ) Cancer CAM Editorial Board, on which he continues to serve today.

Will LaValley, MD (USA) - Dr LaValley combines state-of-the-art molecular biology with complementary approaches to treatment.  Importantly, he has developed highly sophisticated and rapid data-mining approaches that can link evidence-based targeted therapeutic interventions to the molecular biology of cancer. Dr. LaValley has been treating patients for over 28 years and since 1988 he has been a medically licensed by the Texas Medical Board and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia while he has served as a professional consultant to other physicians (i.e., he develops advanced, evidence-based, molecularly-targeted treatment plans and recommendations for physicians to receive, consider, and administer to patients diagnosed with various types of cancers).  Dr LaValley served in the antecedent Natural Health Products Advisory Panel and National Transition Team for the Office of Natural Health Products within Health Canada from 1997 – 2000 and was also a member of the Canadian National Advisory Group on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Health for Health Canada from 1998 – 1999.  He was appointed by the Minister of Health to the Expert Advisory Committee of the Natural Health Products Directorate for the development of Regulations for Natural Health Products in Canada from 2000 – 2004 He is a member of the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and he has been a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology since it began in 2003.

Elizabeth Ryan, PhD (USA) - Dr. Ryan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Colorado State University. Her research is currently focused on immune modulation and anti-cancer activity of bioactive components in rice bran. She actively evaluates genetically diverse rice cultivars from around the world supplied by collaborations at the International Rice Research Institute, USDA Rice Research Unit and Rice Researchers in India. In addition to mouse studies and human trials, she is developing the canine cancer model to investigate alternative medicine modalities during cancer treatment as a new scope of research at the CSU Animal Cancer Center. The hope is to expand and develop evidence-based research on complementary and alternative medicines that include phytochemically rich foods in oncology by using highly translational, naturally occurring cancers in companion animals. Phytochemicals from rice bran, beans, fermented Chinese tea, and milk thistle are the medicinal plants currently under investigation for their affects on modulating tumor metabolism.

Clement G. Yedjou, PhD (USA) - Dr. Yedjou is currently a Professor at Jackson State University. He has a strong concentration in the field of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Cellomics and Toxicogenomics Research Laboratory and Molecular Toxicology. His current research focuses on the preclinical assessment of physiologic doses of ascorbic acid in combination with pharmacologic dose of arsenic trioxide (Trisenox) for the management of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and other malignancies; basic and translational studies of ascorbic acid and arsenic trioxide effects on tumor metastasis; the role of host immune system in ascorbic acid treatment; the mechanisms of action of ascorbic acid when combined with arsenic trioxide for the treatment of APL patients; the preclinical assessment of vernonia amygdalina leaf extracts as anti-cancer agent in the management of human breast cancer.

Michael A. Lea, PhD (USA) - Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School. His research interests are in the regulation of growth and differentiation in cancer cells. Ongoing research is directed to understanding the role of side-chain modification of histones in the regulation of gene expression. Agents are being studied that regulate differentiation in colon cancer cells including inhibitors of histone deacetylases and polyphenolic molecules that inhibit cell proliferation.

Pradeep Kumar Goyal, PhD (India) – Professor & Principal Investigator in the Radiation & Cancer Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India. Dr Goyal’s lab has been investigating the extracts of various medicinal plants e.g. Emblica officinalis (Amla), Rosemary officinalis (Rosemary), Alstonia scholaris (Sapthaparna), Aegle marmelos (Bael), Phyllanthus niruri (Bhumi amla), Syzgium cumini (Jamun), Tinospora cordifolia (Gloe), Averroa carambola (Kamrak) in various mouse models for the prevention and treatment of skin, stomach and liver cancers. It has been found that most of these plant extract have prophylactic potential in reducing the incidence of cancer and delaying the appearance of tumors. These results have been published in various national & International peer reviewed journals as well as presented in several international conferences. Investigations are ongoing to find out the active constituents / single molecule for the use in clinics for the cancer management.

Gian Luigi Russo, PhD (Italy) - Dr. Russo is the Senior Research Scientist at ISA, Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council in Avellino, Italy. He is also the Head of Diet & Human Health divisionand responsible for the Food Chemoprevention unit. His expertise is in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology and his research is focused on cell division cycle control and apoptosis in human cancer, with an emphasis on the regulative role of protein phosphorylation. His investigations are focused on how several phytochemicals present in the regular diet prevent, block or retard tumour formation. The goal is to discriminate between a general antioxidant activity associated to phytochemicals and their ability to specifically trigger cell arrest or cell death in cancer cells.

Carmela Fimognari, PhD (Italy) – Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Bologna in Italy. Dr Fimognari has expertise in both toxicology and pharmacology. Her work in toxicology involves investigations into critical cellular and molecular events related to carcinogenesis induced by exposure to xenobiotics (drugs, phytochemicals, pesticides, etc.) and the study of the risk of cancer in exposed populations by using biomarkers of effect. Her current research activity is focused on the study of natural compounds as new anticancer drugs and characterizing their mechanisms of action in different cell models (in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo models) as well as the preclinical development of phytochemicals.

Lynnette Ferguson, DPhil, DSc (New Zealand) – Professor at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre and the Head of the Department Nutrition Department in the School of Medical Sciences at The University of Auckland in New Zealand. Dr Ferguson’s current research considers the interplay between genes and diet in the development of chronic disease, with particular focus on inflammatory bowel disease and prostate cancer.

Amr Amin, PhD (UAE) – Professor Amin is a graduate faculty at UAE University. He supervised many PhD and MSc theses both locally and internationally. He received his PhD from University of Illinois at Chicago and his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His research interests in preventive medicine encompass four main areas (1) isolation and characterization of naturally-derived biomolecules and testing them in preclinical studies mainly against cancer, (2) employing MRI and nanoparticles in cancer's diagnostics and drug delivery respectively, (3) dissecting the molecular pathways of selected potential anti-cancer natural products through utilizing different in vitro, in vivo and in silico methods to finally introduce them as novel drug targets, (4) running clinical trials for the most promising anti-cancer biomolecules.

Anupam Bishayee, PhD (USA) – Founding Chair and Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences in the School of Pharmacy, American University of Health Sciences, Signal Hill, California. Dr Bishayee’s research for the last 17 years focuses on elucidation of the protective, chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of medicinal plants and natural products and their synthetic analogs in pre-clinical animal models of breast, prostate and liver cancer. His current research program aims to investigate mechanism-based chemopreventive and therapeutic modalities of dietary and plant-based phytochemicals, including resveratrol from grapes, anthocyanans from berries as well as ellagitinins from pomegranates, in pre-clinical models of breast and liver cancer.

Emanuela Signori, PhD, (Italy) - Dr Signori is Researcher at CNR Institute Of Translational Pharmacology (IFT) Laboratory of Molecular Pathology and Experimental Oncologyand Acting Professor of General Pathology at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, School of Medicine. The aim of the research group is to develop translational molecular medicine to pass from bench to bedside. The laboratory is currently focused on the identification of biomarkers and therapeutic molecules and on electrogene and electrochemotherapy transfer protocols in animal models of human diseases. In particular molecular pathology mechanisms, antigens, proteins and genes directly involved in some tumour, infectious and inflammatory diseases are investigated, in order to identify new therapeutic genes and molecules as biomarkers for diagnostic and follow-up purposes, and to develop innovative strategies for their therapeutic administration such as electrogene transfer by naked DNA and electrochemotherapy. 

Mixtures of Environmental Chemicals as Instigators of Cancer

Thomas Sanderson, PhD (Canada) - Professor within the Environmental Toxicology and Biotechnology group at the National Institute of Scientifc Research (INRS) - Institute Armand-Frappier in Quebec, Canada. Dr Sanderson’s research interests concern the interactions of chemicals with the expression and function of enzymes involved in steroid biosynthesis, and their relation to the development of hormone-dependent cancers and endocrine disruption. Current research activities, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) aim to elucidate the mechanism by which a wide variety of chemicals, including environmental contaminants, drugs and compounds of natural origin interfere with androgen and estrogen biosynthesis and receptor signalling in human and animal models of cancer.

David O. Carpenter, MD (USA) - Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany. Dr Carpenter’s research is focused on investigations into the modes and causes of human disease using both animal model systems, humans as experimental subjects and analysis of human illness databases to elucidate the mechanistic basis and distribution of various human diseases. He is mainly focused on the relationship between exposure to environmental chemicals and risk of chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. In some of these studies he and his group obtain medical information, blood or urine for clinical chemistry indicators and for levels of environmental contaminants (PCBs, pesticides, radioactivity, etc.) in order to determine relationships between exposure and development of disease. In other studies he and his colleagues utilize state datasets for birth, death or hospitalization in order to correlate factors such as place of residence in relation to proximity to waste sites or socioeconomic class with rates of disease in the whole population. Recent investigations have focused on health effects of air pollution. The Institute for Health and the Environment is a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization in environmental health.

Philippa D. Darbre, PhD (UK) - Reader in Oncology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading in England. Dr Darbre’s research focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of action of oestrogen and oestrogen-mimicking compounds on the development, growth and progression of breast cancer cells. Her research is focused on the role of the many environmental chemicals which possess estrogenic activity and which can enter the human breast through diet, the domestic environment and use of cosmetic products. Studies are focused on determining the cellular and molecular actions of estrogenic compounds which can be measured in the human breast and on trying to understand how exposure to multiple compounds in the long-term may impact on breast biology. If exposure to complex mixtures of oestrogenic chemicals is a factor in breast cancer development, then a strategy for prevention of breast cancer might become a reality. As well, Dr Darbre has developed human breast cancer cell culture models to investigate molecular mechanisms, and studies are currently focused on finding new ways of inhibiting the oestrogen-independent cells which might have therapeutic benefit.

Shelley Harris, PhD (Canada) - Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and has appointments as a Scientist in Prevention and Cancer Control at Cancer Care Ontario and the Occupational Cancer Research Center. Dr harris’ research focus is on the development of methods to measure and predict occupational and environmental exposures for large-scale epidemiologic studies and developing methods to estimate human exposures to persistent bioaccumulating environmental contaminants using biological markers and questionnaire-based assessment. She is a member of the Working Group for the National Update of the Ontario Miner’s cohort, and led the development of environmental and occupational measures and carcinogen prioritization for the Ontario Health Study. She has published studies on human exposures to chemical, biological and radiological pollutants, and her work has focused on pesticides, air pollutants, and radon.

Masoud Manjili, DVM, PhD (United States) - Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Member of Massey Cancer Center. Dr. Manjili's research focus is on understanding tumor immunoediting and relapse in order to develop immunotherapeutic strategies for breast cancer dormancy. His projects cover three major areas which include: i) epigenetic modulation of cancer cells during dormancy and relapse, ii) tumor-induced immune suppression mediated by myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), and iii) reprogramming tumor sensitized immune cells for adoptive immunotherapy of breast cancer.


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