Chris Hovens, PhD
Director, Prostate Cancer Research Programme
Departments of Urology and Surgery,
5th Floor Clinical Sciences Bldg,
Royal Melbourne Hospital,
Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
Phone: (61-3) 9342 7703/4,
Fax: (61-3) 9347 6488
Currently the Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Center, in the Departments of Urology and Surgery, University of Melbourne. Dr Hovens is a co-founder of the drug discovery/development company, Velacor Therapeutics Pty Ltd for which he serves as Chief Scientifc Officer.
He is a co-inventor on 13 different patents in the area of drug discovery and development ranging across indications from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders. A compound developed in the Center is currently in a Phase I clinical trial in Hormone refractory prostate cancer patients prior to Phase II combination trials in HRPC.The overall goal of our program of research is to improve the accuracy of prognostic information for prostate cancer patients by understanding the processes which govern the neovascularisation of prostate tumours at both the primary site, as well as at sites of distant metastasis.
Current diagnostic tests fail to discriminate between clinically irrelevant disease and life-threatening prostate cancers. In addition, we lack the biomarkers to accurately monitor patient treatment responses and allow optimisation of existing, as well as the development of newer, therapies. Our overall hypothesis is that by quantifying the levels of circulating pro-angiogenic /lymphangiogenic cells and bone marrow-derived progenitor cells in prostate cancer patients we will develop improved prognostic discriminators of the developmental course of the disease as well as surrogate biomarkers of treatment response.
The outcome of these studies will hopefully provide fundamental insights into the process of vascularisation of prostate tumours both at their primary site, and at the clinically relevant distant sites of metastases. By taking a concerted and comprehensive approach to the detection and quantification of circulating endothelial cells and their progenitors in prostate cancer we aim to fast-track the development of new clinical diagnostic and prognostic methodologies. These studies should definitively determine the role of mobilizeable endothelial progenitor cells in prostate cancer neovascularisation and may improve our ability to clinically stratify prostate cancer patients and predict their long-term response to existing and new developmental therapies.
1. Wickremesekera A, Hovens CM, Kaye AH.Expression of ErbB-1 and 2 in vestibular schwannomas.J Clin Neurosci. 2007 Dec;14(12):1199-206. Epub 2007 Oct 26.
2. Wong ML, Kaye AH, Hovens CM.Targeting malignant glioma survival signalling to improve clinical outcomes.J Clin Neurosci. 2007 Apr;14(4):301-8. Epub 2007 Feb 1.
3. Lock P, I ST, Straffon AF, Schieb H, Hovens CM, Stylli SS.Spred-2 steady-state levels are regulated by phosphorylation and Cbl-mediated ubiquitination.Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Dec 29;351(4):1018-23. Epub 2006 Nov 3.
4. Buchert M, Poon C, King JA, Baechi T, D'Abaco G, Hollande F, Hovens CM.AF6/s-afadin is a dual residency protein and localizes to a novel subnuclear compartment.J Cell Physiol. 2007 Jan;210(1):212-23.
5. Corcoran NM, Costello AJ, Hovens CM.Interfering with cell-survival signalling as a treatment strategy for prostate cancer.BJU Int. 2006 Jun;97(6):1149-53.
6. King JA, Corcoran NM, D'Abaco GM, Straffon AF, Smith CT, Poon CL, Buchert M, I S, Hall NE, Lock P, Hovens CM.Eve-3: a liver enriched suppressor of Ras/MAPK signaling.J Hepatol. 2006 Apr;44(4):758-67. Epub 2005 Dec 12.
7. King JA, Straffon AF, D'Abaco GM, Poon CL, I ST, Smith CM, Buchert M, Corcoran NM, Hall NE, Callus BA, Sarcevic B, Martin D, Lock P, Hovens CM.Distinct requirements for the Sprouty domain for functional activity of Spred proteins.Biochem J. 2005 Jun 1;388(Pt 2):445-54.
8. Soni D, King JA, Kaye AH, Hovens CM.Genetics of glioblastoma multiforme: mitogenic signaling and cell cycle pathways converge.J Clin Neurosci. 2005 Jan;12(1):1-5.