Dr. Michael Pollak
Professor, Department of Medicine & Oncology, McGill University
Director, Cancer Prevention Centre, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital
Alexander Goldfarb Research Chair in Medical Oncology
Associate Member, Goodman Cancer Research Centre
We have several ongoing projects to develop novel cancer therapies and cancer prevention strategies. Our research program includes basic work in cellular molecular biology, translational research, and clinical studies. Our basic studies concern the roles of peptide growth factors, particularly insulin-like growth factors, in the pathophysiology of neoplasia.
We have demonstrated that many cancers are dependent on IGF stimulation, and shown that novel compounds that target IGF bioactivity deserve evaluation as cancer therapies. Our studies provide evidence that IGF signaling plays roles in clinically important challenges including development of resistance to Herceptin in breast cancer, and progression of prostate cancer to androgen-independence.
We also have identified IGF physiology as an area that may lead to novel prevention strategies, both for the general population and for individuals at increased genetic risk for cancer.
In collaboration with colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health, we have shown that high circulating levels of IGF-I represent an important risk factor for several common cancers. We now are studying the mechanisms underlying the relationship between IGF-I levels and risk of neoplasia.