Date of Graduation

2009

Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

David Loose

Abstract

In the United States, endometrial cancer is the leading cancer of the female reproductive tract. There are 40,100 new cases and 7,470 deaths from endometrial cancer estimated for 2008 (47). The average five year survival rate for endometrial cancer is 84% however, this figure is substantially lower in patients diagnosed with late stage, advanced disease and much higher for patients diagnosed in early stage disease (47). Endometrial cancer (EC) has been associated with several risk factors including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, previously documented occurrence of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), and heightened exposure to estrogen (25). As of yet, there has not been a dependable molecular predictor of endometrial cancer occurrence in women with these predisposing factors. The goal of our lab is to identify genes that are aberrantly expressed in EC and may serve as molecular biomarkers of EC progression. One candidate protein that we are exploring as a biomarker of EC progression is the cell survival protein survivin.

Keywords

Endometrial Cancer, Genes, Molecular biomarkers, Survivin