Karen Liby, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Dartmouth Medical School
Dartmouth, New Hampshire
2013-2014 BCRF Project:
(The Nestlé Waters North America Award)
Co-Investigator: Michael Sporn, MD, Dartmouth Medical School
Drs. Sporn and Liby have shown in the past year that the combination of two drugs is significantly more effective than either drug by itself in preventing breast cancer in a highly aggressive laboratory model. Both drugs have important effects in suppressing the tumor promoting actions of the inflammatory cells that drive the development of cancer. One of the drugs, SAHA, is already approved by the FDA for clinical use in treatment of cancer, and the other drug, CDDO methyl ester, has successfully completed phase I clinical trials for treatment of advanced cancer. For these new prevention studies, Drs. Sporn and Liby are attempting to use drugs that have potential for clinical application in women at high risk, with a goal of eliminating the need for bilateral prophylactic mastectomy.
Karen Liby earned her PhD from the University of Cincinnati and then joined the laboratory of Michael B. Sporn, a pioneer in the field of chemoprevention. She currently is a member of the Department of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. She was awarded the Wilson S. Stone Memorial Award by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2007.
Her research priorities are to develop and test new drugs and drugs combinations for the prevention and treatment of cancer. She has tested several novel drugs and found that they can both prevent and treat experimental breast cancer in animals. She is also studying the molecular mechanism of action of these drugs and identifying and validating biomarkers that will needed to evaluate these drugs in the clinic.