Dr. Peter Black

Dr. Peter Black

B.Sc. University of British Columbia
M.D. Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
Urology Residency, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Urologic Oncology Fellowship, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Team: 
Clinical and Research Scientists
Positions: 

Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre
Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia
 

Dr. Peter Black trained with one of the premier bladder cancer research groups in the world at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and has now established a research group at the Prostate Centre focused on targeting growth factor receptors in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. His prior work concentrated on epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and mechanisms of resistance to EGFR inhibition in pre-clinical models of bladder cancer. This work led to identification of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition as a key predictor of response to EGFR inhibition – and the fact that modulation of E-cadherin expression markedly affects response. Further studies also revealed close correlations between EGFR response and expression of both human EGF receptor 4 (HER4) and platelet derived growth factor receptor-ß (PDGFR-ß). Dual inhibition of PDGFR-ß and EGFR, for example, was effective in inhibiting growth of cell lines that were resistant to EGFR inhibition alone.

The continuation of this work on growth factor receptors has now shifted to NOTCH signaling. Preliminary gene expression profiling data points to the dysregulation of the NOTCH pathway as a relevant biologic mechanism in bladder cancer. NOTCH has well described roles in other cancers, including T-ALL and breast cancer. Dr. Black’s group is currently conducting a detailed characterization of the pathway in bladder cancer and will move forward with specific targeting of relevant mediators in the pathway. They expect that targeting the NOTCH pathway will modulate E-cadherin expression and enhance response to EGFR inhibitors and other agents.

Another component of Dr. Black’s research focus is fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3). FGFR3 is mutated in up to 80% of low-grade and non-invasive bladder cancers. While at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Black performed in vitro characterization of the FGFR3 pathway and also analyzed the mutation rate (by sequencing) and expression (by immunohistochemistry) of FGFR3 in patient tumours. He is now testing in collaboration with Colin Dinney, M.D. at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center specific FGFR3 inhibitors in human orthotopic xenografts using both established cell lines and novel primary xenografts. We anticipate that this work will lead to a clinical trial involving one or more of these compounds in patients with bladder cancer.

In addition to this work, Dr. Black is involved with collaborative projects within the Prostate Centre and the wider UBC research community. He is working with Hongshen Ma, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering on a novel microfluidic device to isolate circulating tumour cells in prostate and bladder cancer. He is working with Elai Davicioni, Ph.D. and GenomeDx Biosciences to develop gene expression signatures for use as biomarkers in bladder cancer.

A World Class Centre

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.

Events

VPC Terry Fox team 2016

Terry Fox Run: Sunday September 16, 2018

On Sunday September 16, the fundraising Terry Fox walk/run/ride is taking place across Canada.  We are grateful for our  grant support provided by The Terry Fox Foundation and Terry Fox Research Institute continously since 1998 - click here to donate to our team (opens in new window)

 

Vancouver

18th Annual Pacific Northwest Prostate Cancer Conference: Sat Sept 22, 2018

The 18th Annual Pacific Northwest Prostate Cancer Conference for patients, their families and health care professionals will be held in Vancouver on Saturday September 22, from 8 AM to 4 PM.  Click here for further details and to purchase tickets ($30, includes lunch). (Opens in new window)

 

Employment

Work at the Vancouver Prostate Centre

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Dr. Gleave awarded the 2018 Dr. Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research

Dr. Gleave
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Three VPC trainees receive 2018 VCHRI Rising Star Awards

2018 Rising Star Awardees
DNA

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