Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Balakrishna L. Lokeshwar, Ph.D.

Balakrishna L. Lokeshwar, Ph.D.

Professor of Urology

Description of Research

The research program of Dr. Bal Lokeshwar’s laboratory is focused on the mechanism of cancer progression and enhancing existing systems of therapy. Current projects in his laboratory investigate the role of CXC chemokines and their receptors (CXCRs) that contribute to chronic inflammation, transformation, and accelerate the progression of the disease. The group is engaged in identifying the mechanism of CXCR up-regulation and its impact on cancer progression. In addition, the laboratory is engaged in translational research, where the group is investigating the potential use of a pair of natural products that show promising results in laboratory models of prostate and breast cancers. These agents not only kill tumor cells selectively, but also reverse malignant progression of newly transformed epithelial cells by inhibiting epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). The mechanism of action of these products are being investigated using molecular and cell biological approaches, such as RNA interference, conditional over-expression, site directed mutagenesis, promoter assays, quantitative mRNA and protein analysis, cell cycle analysis, fluorescence microscopy and the use of transgenic animal models. Furthermore, other projects include development of new markers for renal cell cancers that may help us non-invasively detect kidney cancers or help us in disease prognosis.


  • Showed that there exists an imbalance between the levels of MMPs (overproduction) and their natural inhibitors (under production) in invasive prostate cancer cells.
  • Identified a novel, chemically-modified non-antimicrobial tetracycline (COL-3) as an effective anti-metastatic drug with potential to treat prostate cancer metastatic to bone. The NCI has completed the Phase I trial of this drug and is awaiting further trials. Other novel agents are being tested in Dr. Lokeshwar’s laboratory to control cancer as well as other chronic diseases such as chronic ocular surface inflammation. Dr. Lokeshwar’s research has brought in one patent to the University of Miami jointly with State University of New York at Stony Brook,and two patents are pending on the new application of his research findings.
  • Identified a potential application of CMTs to treat the meibomian gland dysfunction that leads to ocular rosacea, in collaboration with Stephen C. Pflugfelder, M.D., in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Miami.
  • Selected Cancer-Related Publications

    • Shamaladevi N, Lyn DA, Escudero DO, Lokeshwar BL. CXC receptor-1 silencing inhibits androgen-independent prostate cancer. Cancer Res 69:8265-74, 2009. Read more »


    Collaborating in the Multidisciplinary Research Program(s):

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