le-Ming Shih MD, PhD - Interview

le-Ming Shih MD, PhD - Interview

Endofound Medical Conference 2017 "Breast, Ovary and Endometriosis" October 28, 2017 - Lotte New York Palace Hotel

le-Ming Shih MD, PhD

Richard W. TeLinde Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Interviewer: Now, we're joined by Dr. Ie-Ming Shih, who co-directs the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program at John Hopkins Cancer Center. Thank you so much for being here today.

Dr. Shih: Thank you for having me.

Interviewer: You've recently been awarded a grant from the Endometriosis Foundation of America, and your research focuses on studying molecular and translational aspects in gynecological diseases, including endometriosis and endometriosis-related ovarian cancers. Briefly, give us an overview of exactly what all that means.

Dr. Shih: Okay. Basically, I'm a pathologist and also a cancer researcher. Endometriosis is so intriguing and so important for us. It's because we don't know the mechanism and the pathogenesis, how it develops. As a pathologist and cancer researcher, we try to apply the cancer research tools into the field to study endometriosis. In that way, we can link cancer research and endometriosis together, using the same technical [platform 00:01:28]; and hope that we can elucidate the pathogenesis of endometriosis from different angles.

Interviewer: Where are you in all of this research?

Dr. Shih: We are at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and it's in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
Interviewer: Okay, and more specifically, at what point in the research? Are you halfway through? Have you completed the research? Are you just beginning?

Dr. Shih: Oh, there's no way that we can say that we finish any research. Research can never get finished; it just open more and more question to be addressed. To answer your question, we are just in the beginning. Try to understand endometriosis and breast and ovarian cancer one step further.
Interviewer: Okay. Why is it so important to you to research the connection between such diseases as ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and breast cancer? Why is that so important?

Dr. Shih: Well, I think this is very important link between these three disorders. Basically, they're all female diseases, number one. Number two, they are hormonal responsive lesions. Think about breast cancer, think about ovarian cancer, and endometriosis; they are controlled by our hormonal concentration in the blood. They must have some link between these diseases through the hormonal dysregulation in individuals.
Interviewer: Would you like to add anything about your research or anything else that maybe you took away from the conference today?

Dr. Shih: Yeah. Basically, we identified a new mechanism in how endometriosis, especially those deep infiltrating endometriosis, is related to the genetic abnormality in the lesions. More specifically we identified the called cancer driver mutations in this similarly [benign 00:03:42] disorders. We find that they share the same mutation as we identified in cancer. It doesn't mean that endometriosis is a cancer yet, but I will say endometriosis use a very similar mechanism just like in cancer to develop the lesion and cause the symptoms in the patient.

Interviewer: Thank you so much Dr. Shih for being here with us today.

Dr. Shih: Thank you for having me.