The Fisher Biomarker laboratories are engaged in biomarker research and development to improve the early detection, staging, monitoring, and prognosis of prostate cancer (PCa) and other urologic cancers. A biomarker is a cancer property that can be objectively measured and is an indicator of biological or pathogenic processes, or a patient’s pharmacologic or physiologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.
Robert W. Veltri, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Urology and Director of the Fisher Biomarker Laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Brady Urological Research Institute, and Department of Urology in Baltimore, MD. He is working on the development of the applications of Digital Image Analysis to quantify nuclear structure and tissue architecture as well as biomarkers for prostate, bladder and renal cancer detection, diagnosis and prognosis. He previously spent eleven years as the Vice President of the R&D Group within UroCor Inc. in Oklahoma City, OK from 1990-2001. While at UroCor he coordinated the development of clinical diagnostic and prognostic products as well as knowledge-based decision tools for the detection, diagnosis and prognosis of PCa. While at UroCor his team developed several products including UroScoreTM (a PCa staging algorithm), a urinalysis Stones 24-hour product, and a novel bladder cancer (BlCa) molecular-based assay for p53 gene mutations, and tested and validated the DD-23 BlCa detection urine biomarker. The UroCor R&D group also discovered over thirty genes involved in PCa and BPH, which are covered by issued and pending patents. Dr. Veltri also served as Director of Otolaryngic Research and a member of the faculty of microbiology, surgery and Clinical Pathology of WVU from 1968-80 where he was involved in ENT infectious disease and tumor biomarkers research. Next, he Directed R&D for a diagnostic company (1980-84) where he developed FDA approved In Vitro diagnostic devices for rheumatoid arthritis, infectious mononucleosis and Streptococcal infections. In 1985 he co-founded a start-up therapeutics development company which created nine patents covering several Aldol and Michael addition derivatives of Vitamin C at the C2 position that expressed anti-tumor, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activities. Dr. Veltri has authored or co-authored over 130 scientific and technical publications and is either inventor or co-inventor on over twenty patents in the fields of diagnostics and therapeutics.
Alan W. Partin, MD, PhD – is the David Hall McConnell Distinguished Professor of Urologic Oncology, Professor and Director of Urology, Professor of Oncology and Pathology at Johns Hopkins and has an extensive background spanning twenty years in clinical, laboratory and translational research regarding biomarkers for early detection, staging and monitoring of treatment response for men regarding PCa. Dr. Partin’s work, in collaboration with many other investigators from numerous Academic and Industry-based research groups, has brought from “bench to bedside” several biomarkers for PCa – many of which are FDA approved and in widespread clinical use at present [e.g. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) , percent free- PSA , and complexed PSA ]. Dr. Partin has extensive experience in combining biomarkers and the use of artificial neural networks to allow clinical decision making when multiple biomarkers are utilized. Dr. Partin also has extensive experience in design, coordination and participation in multi-institutional and multi-investigator clinical validation trials investigating new biomarkers and new technologies for early detection of PCa. Dr. Partin has held a NCI U01 grant for eight years now and serves as the principal investigator. Additionally, Dr. Partin is principal investigator of one of the Johns Hopkins Prostate Cancer SPORE grant projects. Clinically, Dr. Partin coordinates the screening for PCa of nearly 1000 men/year in the Baltimore/Johns Hopkins area, he personally evaluates in the clinic over 500 men/year with abnormal biomarkers (PSA) and/or physical (digital prostate) exam, he performs nearly 300 prostate biopsies/year (approximately 30% of which are positive for prostate cancer) and he treats (radical prostatectomy) nearly 150 men/year. Dr. Partin is responsible for the care of nearly 30% of the men in the present expectant management program.