Dr. George J. Netto is a member of our team of urologic pathologists. He received his MD in 1985 from the University of Damascus in Syria. Upon moving to the US, he did his residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Baylor University Medical Ctr in Dallas. Subsequently, he received his subspecialty training in Oncologic Pathology and Urologic Pathology at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr in NY city. He is also boarded in Molecular Genetic Pathology, a new pathology discipline focusing on the development of molecular (DNA/RNA) based tests for cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
Dr Netto’s current research is focused on the evaluation of molecular biomarkers that can serve as potential prognosticators and or therapeutic targets in the management of urologic malignancies. These studies are facilitated by the construction of Tissue Micro Arrays coupled with Image Analysis technology to be used for immunohistochemistry and FISH analysis of prostatic, bladder, renal and testicular cancers. Molecular Diagnostic applications with potential role in screening and early detection of urologic malignancies are also investigated.
Ongoing prostate cancer studies include the evaluation of the role of TMPRSS2-ERG translocation, proliferation markers and members of the mTOR pathway in predicting progression of prostate cancer in a large well characterized nested case-control cohort of prostate carcinoma patients. The studies are funded by several grants awarded from the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Patrick C Walsh Foundation in addition to the NIH/NCI sponsored Johns Hopkins Prostate SPORE.
Studies on urothelial carcinoma involve evaluation of biomarkers in a newly constructed tissue array from a well characterized cohort of cystectomy patients treated at the Brady Institute of Urology. Markers under study include: cell cycle control elements, EGFR expression and mutation analysis, PIK3CA mutation analysis and DNA damage response elements and mTOR pathway members. These studies are supported by a 2008 FAMRI Clinical Innovator Award, philanthropic Bladder Fund and NIH/NCI sponsored grants including a PO1 program award.
Additional urologic oncology studies involve the evaluation of biomarkers of targeted therapy in renal cell carcinoma including TOPOIIa, HIF1a/VEGF and mTOR pathway.