William G. Nelson

About William G. Nelson

One of the causes for the initiation of cancer is the switching off or complete shutdown of certain critical genes (gene silencing) that should remain active. Tumor cells also use this mechanism as the cancer spreads and becomes resistant to treatment. Cancer cells adapt to currently available drugs by switching off the targets of these medications and rendering them ineffective. Dr. Nelson and his team of scientists plan to discover innovative new medicines that will turn switched-off genes back on so that currently available medications can effect tumor regression. The reversal of gene-silencing by new medications will have a two-pronged effect; one, switching on the ‘good’ genes that cancer switches ‘off’ and two, switching on the ‘bad’ genes so that currently available medications can more effectively identify and target them.
Potential patient benefit: New medications discovered by Dr. Nelson’s team could attack tumors in new ways. Combined with currently available treatments, these new therapies for metastatic prostate cancer have the potential to improve patient outcomes.

William G. Nelson, MD, PhD –

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Induction of Synthetic Lethality with Epigenetic therapy (ISLET) for Systemic Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Co-investigators:

Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, MD, PhD; Jun O. Liu, PhD; Stephen B. Baylin, MD; Michael A. Carducci, MD; Martin J. Aryee, PhD