Guochun Zhang, MD, PhD
Department of Surgical Oncology
2012-2013 BCRF Project:
(made possible by generous support from Estée Lauder)
Guangdong General Hospital
Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO 2012 Long-term International Fellowship
The relationship between pregnancy and breast cancer risk is age dependent. A first-pregnancy before age 22 is thought to be protective against breast cancer, but a first-pregnancy after age 35 increases a woman's breast cancer risk. At present, the exact mechanism is still unclear.
A research team at Baylor College of Medicine has recently uncovered a molecular mechanism underlying the stimulatory effort of pregnancy on breast cancer. Dr. Zhang has joined this team to further explore the mechanism by which pregnancy affects breast cancer and to use preclinical laboratory models to test novel chemoprevention modalities to prevent breast cancer.
Mid-year Progress: By participating in this fellowship, Dr. Zhang reports having learned much and benefited greatly from both clinical and translational research mentors, including longstanding BCRF grantee, Dr. Kent Osborne, and others clinicians at Baylor College of Medicine. The research skills and knowledge Dr. Zhang has gained will form the basis of his future career as a physician scientist in breast cancer when he returns to China.
Dr. Zhang has also made progress on his scientific project. The aim of his project is to investigate the detailed mechanism of PRLR-Jak2-STAT5-BclXL signaling in breast cancer initialization as well as to test novel anti-JAK2 compound in the prevention or treatment of breast cancer. This project is designed based on the previous achievement of the Li laboratory at Baylor. It is now moving forward smoothly. Notably, Dr. Zhang and colleagues submitted a manuscript on a component of their work, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Current Oncology.
In the following months of his fellowship, Dr. Zhang will continue to acquire clinical skills and knowledge through attending tumor board meetings and pathology core meetings. He also anticipate completing his scientific project, the next important step of which would be applying the work on laboratory models, to test if intraperitoneal injection of prolactin could active PRLR-Jak2-STAT5-BclXL signaling and lead to formation of premalignant early lesions. Furthermore, Dr. Zhang will continue to broaden connection with scientists and oncologists in the US. Maintaining this connection would be important and help keep his knowledge up to date when he returns to his home country.
Dr. Guochun Zhang is a surgical oncologist at Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou, China. He graduated from Sun Yat-Sen University Medical School and received a PhD in cancer molecular biology from Sun Yat-Sen University. Completing his subspecialty training as a surgical oncologist in breast cancer in 2009, Dr. Zhang is active in multidisciplinary comprehensive breast cancer care for patients in China. He is also active in clinical epidemiology research, as well as translational research in breast cancer. In addition, Dr. Zhang has published and been awarded funding in related fields.