We are interested in two fundamental questions related to the biology of HPV-associated cancers. Our research is inspired by patients I see in clinic who are challenged by their diagnosis of head and neck cancer.We utilize both cell culture of HPV-positive cancer cell lines and immortalized oral epithelial cells engineered to express the individual HPV oncoproteins, and a powerful patient-derived xenograft system. Ultimately we hope that our research improves outcomes and/or decreases toxicity for patients with these cancers.
Our initial questions is: How do the HPV oncoproteins contribute to increased sensitivity to radiation in head and neck cancers. Thus far, we have identified a role for both HPV-16 E6 and HPV-16 E7 in enhancing sensitivity to radiation in head and neck cancer. Future work seeks to better understand the contributions of the individual oncogenes to the improved outcomes seen in patients.
Our second question is: Why do patients with HPV-positive head and neck cancers tend to present with a high burden of lymph node disease? To this end we are investigating cancer initiating cells the the role they may play in this invasive phenotype using our standard model systems.
Honors & Awards
- 2010-2012 – Kaye Fellow in Head and Neck Cancer Research
- 2012 – Best Oral Abstract Award, 3rd place Division for Integrative Systems, Translational and Clinical Pharmacology, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
- 2008-2010 Chief Resident, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina
- 2002 – University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Graduate Fellow Award
Selected Publications (Find further publications on PubMed)
- Stein AP, Swick AD, Smith MA, Blitzer GC, Yang RZ, Saha S, Harari PM, Lambert PF, Liu CZ, Kimple RJ., “Xenograft assessment of predictive biomarkers for standard head and neck cancer therapies.,” Cancer Med. 2015 May;4(5):699-712. doi: 10.1002/cam4.387. Epub 2015 Jan 26. PMCID:PMC4430263
- Park JW, Nickel KP, Torres AD, Lee D, Lambert PF, Kimple RJ., “Human papillomavirus type 16 E7 oncoprotein causes a delay in repair of DNA damage.,” Radiother Oncol. 2014 Dec;113(3):337-44. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2014.08.026. Epub 2014 Sep 9. PMCID:PMC4268372
- Brand TM, Iida M, Stein AP, Corrigan KL, Braverman CM, Luthar N, Toulany M, Gill PS, Salgia R, Kimple RJ, Wheeler DL., “AXL mediates resistance to cetuximab therapy.,” Cancer Res. 2014 Sep 15;74(18):5152-64. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0294. Epub 2014 Aug 18. PMCID:PMC4167493
- Kimple RJ, Smith MA, Blitzer GC, Torres AD, Martin JA, Yang RZ, Peet CR, Lorenz LD, Nickel KP, Klingelhutz AJ, Lambert PF, Harari PM., “Enhanced radiation sensitivity in HPV-positive head and neck cancer.,” Cancer Res. 2013 Aug 1;73(15):4791-800. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-0587. Epub 2013 Jun 7. PMCID:PMC3732540
- Stein AP, Saha S, Kraninger JL, Swick AD, Yu M, Lambert PF, Kimple RJ., “Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus in Oropharyngeal Cancer: A Systematic Review.,” Cancer J. 2015 May-Jun;21(3):138-46. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000115. PMCID:PMC4459520