Susan L. Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research
164 Frelinghuysen Road, Room 107
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020
Sunlight-induced skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, and ultraviolet light (UVB) is primarily responsible for these cancers. Our studies indicated that oral administration of caffeine or voluntary running wheel exercise (a) decreases tissue fat, (b) inhibits UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis, and (c) enhances apoptosis in UVB-treated epidermis and in skin tumors in SKH-1 mice. My recent studies found that surgical removal of parametrial fat pads (partial lipectomy) also enhances UVB-induced apoptosis in the epidermis. Oral administration of caffeine combined with voluntary exercise may have a synergistic effect in decreasing tissue fat and stimulating UVB-induced apoptosis. Since physical exercise or caffeine intake are conducted by very large segments of the population, research on possible synergy and mechanisms of the potential anticancer effects of exercise, caffeine ingestion, and/or fat removal may have broad human significance for cancer prevention. I am very interested in following specific studies:
1. Molecular mechanisms of ultraviolet light-induced skin carcinogenesis.
2. Effects of decreased tissue fat by voluntary exercise, caffeine administration or partial lipectomy on UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis.
3. Synergistic inhibitory effect of voluntary exercise in combination with caffeine or fat removal on UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis.
4. Molecular mechanisms of voluntary exercise, caffeine as well as partial lipectomy on the ATR/Chk1/cyclin B1-mediated pathway that leads to lethal mitosis (apoptosis) in tumors and in areas of the epidermis away from tumors.
5. Possible cytokines that are associated with enhanced skin carcinogenesis.