The Prostate Innovative Working Group at the University of Arizona Cancer Center is a cross-disciplinary center of excellence for basic and translational prostate cancer research. A multi-disciplinary team involving basic, translational, and clinical researchers work together collaboratively and synergistically to address three major clinical problems in cancer research.

  • Investigating better early detection methods and identifying biomarkers that have better predictive power
  • Defining the factors in the bone microenvironment that favor and promote prostate cancer bone metastasis and growth with the goal of identifying new therapeutic targets to prevent or cure metastatic disease
  • Identifying drug resistance mechanisms and developing new therapies to both prevent the emergence of resistance or overcome existing resistance

Casillas AL, Chauhan SS, Toth RK, Sainz AG, Clements AN, Jensen CC, Langlais PR, Miranti CK, Cress AE, Warfel NA. Direct phosphorylation and stabilization of HIF-1α by PIM1 kinase drives angiogenesis in solid tumors. Oncogene. 2021 Aug;40(32):5142-5152. doi: 10.1038/s41388-021-01915-1.

Watson MJ, Berger PL, Banerjee K, Frank SB, Tang L, Ganguly SS, Hostetter G, Winn M, Miranti CK. Aberrant CREB1 activation in prostate cancer disrupts normal prostate luminal cell differentiation. Oncogene. 2021 May;40(18):3260-3272. doi: 10.1038/s41388-021-01772-y.

Watson AW, Grant AD, Parker SS, Hill S, Whalen MB, Chakrabarti J, Harman MW, Roman MR, Forte BL, Gowan CC, Castro-Portuguez R, Stolze LK, Franck C, Cusanovich DA, Zavros Y, Padi M, Romanoski CE, Mouneimne G. Breast tumor stiffness instructs bone metastasis via maintenance of mechanical conditioning. Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 29;35(13):109293. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109293.

Cheng JN, Frye JB, Whitman SA, Kunihiro AG, Pandey R, Funk JL. A Role for TGFβ Signaling in Preclinical Osteolytic Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Bone Metastases Progression. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 24;22(9):4463. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094463.

Bowen C, Shibata M, Zhang H, Bergren SK, Shen MM, Gelmann EP. CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Point Mutation in Nkx3.1 Prolongs Protein Half-Life and Reverses Effects Nkx3.1 Allelic Loss. Cancer Res. 2020 Nov 1;80(21):4805-4814. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-1742. Epub 2020 Sep 17. PMID: 32943441; PMCID: PMC7642110.

Bearss JJ, Padi SK, Singh N, Cardo-Vila M, Song JH, Mouneimne G, Fernandes N, Li Y, Harter MR, Gard JM, Cress AE, Peti W, Nelson AD, Buchan JR, Kraft AS, Okumura K. EDC3 phosphorylation regulates growth and invasion through controlling P-body formation and dynamics. EMBO Rep. 2021 Feb 15:e50835. doi: 10.15252/embr.202050835

Bowen C, Shibata M, Zhang H, Bergren SK, Shen MM, Gelmann EP. CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Point Mutation in Nkx3.1 Prolongs Protein Half-Life and Reverses Effects Nkx3.1 Allelic Loss. Cancer Res. 2020 Nov 1;80(21):4805-4814

Nollet EA, Cardo-Vila M, Ganguly SS, Tran JD, Schulz VV, Cress A, Corey E, Miranti CK. (2020) Androgen receptor-induced integrin α6β1 and Bnip3 promote survival and resistance to PI3K inhibitors in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Oncogene 39(31):5390-5404.

Chauhan SS, Toth RK, Jensen CC, Casillas AL, Kashatus DF, Warfel NA. (2020) PIM kinases alter mitochondrial dynamics and chemosensitivity in lung cancer. Oncogene 39(12):2597-2611.

Wang M, Nagle RB, Knudsen BS, Cress AE, Rogers GC (2020) Centrosome loss results in an unstable genome and malignant prostate tumors. Oncogene 39(2):399-413.

Miranti CK, Moore S, Kim Y, Chappeta VR, Wu K, De B, Gokhale V, Hurley LH, Reyes-Reyes EM. (2020) Nucleolin represses transcription of the androgen receptor gene through a G-quadruplex. Oncotarget 11(19):1758-1776.

Ganguly SS, Li X, and Miranti CK (2020) Notch suppresses prostate cancer osteolytic bone metastasis to favor osteoblastogenesis in an MMP-3-dependent manner. Oncogene 39:204-218.

Chipollini J, Wright JR, Nwanosike H, Kepler CY, Batai K, Lee BR, Spiess PE, Stewart DB, Lamendella R. (2020) Characterization of urinary microbiome in patients with bladder cancer: Results from a single-institution, feasibility study. Urol Oncol 38(7):615-621

Singh N, Padi SKR, Bearss JJ, Pandey R, Okumura K, Beltran H, Song JH, Kraft AS, Olive V. (2020) PIM protein kinases regulate the level of the long noncoding RNA H19 to control stem cell gene transcription and modulate tumor growth. Mol Oncol 14(5):974-990.

Jiang L, Ivich F, Tahsin S, Tran M, Frank SB, Miranti CK, Zohar Y (2019) Human stroma and epithelium co-culture in a microfluidic model of a human prostate gland. Biomicrofluidics. 13(6):064116.

Toth RK, Tran JD, Muldong MT, Nollet EA, Schulz VV, Jensen CC, Hazlehurst LA, Corey E, Durden D, Jamieson C, Miranti CK, Warfel NA. (2019) Hypoxia-induced PIM kinase and laminin-activated integrin α6 mediate resistance to PI3K inhibitors in bone-metastatic CRPC. Am J Clin Exp Urol 7(4):297-312.

Rubenstein CS, Gard JMC, Wang M, McGrath JE, Ingabire N, Hinton JP, Marr KD, Simpson SJ, Nagle RB, Miranti CK, Warfel NA, Garcia JGN, Arif-Tiwari H, Cress AE (2019) Gene editing of α6 integrin prevented prostate cancer muscle invasive networks and increased cell-cell biophysical properties.  Cancer Res 79(18):4703-4714.


Batai K, Harb-De la Rosa A, Zeng J, Chipollini JJ, Gachupin FC, Lee BR. (2019) Racial/ethnic disparities in renal cell carcinoma: Increased risk of early-onset and variation in histologic subtypes. Cancer Med 8(15):6780-6788.

Song JH, Kang HJ, Luevano LA, Gokhale V, Wu K, Pandey R, Sherry Chow HH, Hurley LH, Kraft AS. (2019) Small-Molecule-Targeting Hairpin Loop of hTERT Promoter G-Quadruplex Induces Cancer Cell Death. Cell Chem Biol 26(8):1110-1121.


Padi SKR, Singh N, Bearss JJ, Olive V, Song JH, Cardó-Vila M, Kraft AS, Okumura K. (2019) Phosphorylation of DEPDC5, a component of the GATOR1 complex, releases inhibition of mTORC1 and promotes tumor growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116(41):20505-20510.