Lan G. Coffman, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Hematology-Oncology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Ovarian cancer, the most deadly gynecologic cancer, develops within a complex tumor microenvironment “TME” which serves as fertile soil to support the tumor cell seeds. My lab focuses on blocking the development of this fertile soil as a critical new approach to preventing and treating ovarian cancer. The ultimate goal of my lab is to translate laboratory findings understanding the complex interaction between cancer seed and soil into meaningful treatments to improve the lives of women with or at risk of ovarian cancer.
Lan G. Coffman, MD, PhD
Research in Brief
Dr. Coffman is a physician scientist actively conducting laboratory based and translational research and maintaining a specialized clinical practice focused on the medical treatment of ovarian cancer.
Dr. Coffman’s research focuses on understanding and targeting the cancer supporting stromal tissues which are critical to the survival, growth and spread of ovarian cancer. Specifically, Dr, Coffman’s lab studies a critical non-malignant component of the ovarian cancer microenvironment, the carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cell (CA-MSC). CA-MSCs are stromal progenitor cells which significantly increase cancer growth, enrich the cancer stem cell pool and increase chemotherapy resistance.
The lab studies how CA-MSCs are formed and develop tumor supporting properties. The lab also focuses on identifying important tumor cell:CA-MSC interactions which mediate CA-MSC’s pro-tumorigenic functions and have potential for translation into new therapeutic targets. Additionally, the lab studies how CA-MSCs impact the development of ovarian cancer metastasis and the metastatic microenvironment.
The ultimate goal of this research is to translate novel laboratory findings into powerful therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer.
Defining the epigenetic regulation of carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells
Investigating the role of carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells in promoting ovarian cancer metastasis
Determining the impact of carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells on the immune microenvironment in ovarian cancer
- Coffman LG, Parsonage D, D'Agostino R Jr, Torti FM, Torti SV: Regulatory effects of ferritin on angiogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(2): 570-5, 2009. PM19126685/PMC2626744
- *Miller LD, *Coffman LG, Chou JW, Black MA, Bergh J, D'Agostino R Jr, Torti SV, Torti FM (*co-first author): An iron regulatory gene signature predicts outcome in breast cancer. Cancer Res 71(21): 6728-37, 2011. PM21875943/PMC3206152
- Coffman L, Mooney C, Lim J, Bai S, Silva I, Gong Y, Yang K, Buckanovich RJ: Endothelin receptor-A is required for the recruitment of antitumor T cells and modulates chemotherapy induction of cancer stem cells. Cancer Biol Ther 14(2): 184-92, 2013. PM23192269/PMC3572000
- Choi YJ, Ingram PN, Yang K, Coffman L, Iyengar M, Bai S, Thomas DG, Yoon E, Buckanovich RJ: Identifying an ovarian cancer cell hierarchy regulated by bone morphogenetic protein 2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(50): E6882-8, 2015. PM26621735/PMC4687560
- Coffman LG, Burgos-Ojeda D, Wu R, Cho K, Bai S, Buckanovich RJ: New models of hematogenous ovarian cancer metastasis demonstrate preferential spread to the ovary and a requirement for the ovary for abdominal dissemination. Transl Res 175: 92-102, 2016. PM27083386/PMC5003680
- Coffman LG, Choi YJ, McLean K, Allen BL, di Magliano MP, Buckanovich RJ: Human carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells promote ovarian cancer chemotherapy resistance via a BMP4/HH signaling loop. Oncotarget 7(6): 6916-32, 2016. PM26755648/PMC4872758
- Iyengar, M, O’Hayer, P, Cole, A, Sebastian, T, Yang, K, Coffman, L*, Buckanovich, R* (*co-last author): CDK4/6 inhibition as maintenance and combination therapy for high grade serous ovarian cancer. Oncotarget 9(21):15658-15672, 2018. PM29644000/PMCPMC5884655
- McLean, K, Tan, L, Bolland, D, Coffman, L, Peterson, L, Talpaz, M, Neamati, N, Buckanovich, R. Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Functions in Parallel with Interleukin-6 to Promote Ovarian Cancer Growth. Oncogene. Oct 2018. PM30305729
- Coffman, L, Pearson, A, Frisbie, L, Freeman, Z, Christie, E, Bowtell, D, Buckanovich, R. Ovarian carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells arise from tissue-specific normal stroma. Stem Cells. Oct 2018.PM30353617