NTP Logo

Much of the work carried out by DTT is in support of the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency partnership of the Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and NIEHS.

Pathogenesis/Carcinogenesis of Tumors

Research Summary

The Molecular Pathogenesis Group has focused on defining the pathogenesis/carcinogenesis of tumors affecting the reproductive tract of rodents and humans, and assessing the role of environmental and endogenous hormonal factors in the growth of these tumors.

The group has used cell lines, archival mouse tissue and human clinical samples to investigate the influence of growth factors/receptors and their signaling pathways on uterine leiomyoma (fibroid) growth. The clinical tissues used are leiomyoma and patient-matched myometrial samples taken from cycle-staged, premenopausal women that are part of the NIEHS/George Washington University Fibroid Study. The rodent tissue samples are from either in-house studies or the archives of the NTP.

By understanding the basic mechanisms of disease, therapeutic interventions can be developed that will help spawn alternative non-invasive treatments for clinical fibroids and other diseases.

Major areas of research:

  • Determination of the role of growth factors/receptors and their signaling pathways in regulating uterine fibroid growth
  • Investigation of the effects of endogenous and environmental hormones on uterine fibroid growth
  • Characterization of in vitro and animal models for studying the pathogenesis of uterine fibroids

Current projects:

Darlene Dixon, D.V.M., Ph.D., leads the Molecular Pathogenesis Group within the NTP Laboratory. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree in 1982 at Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine and her Ph.D. in 1985 at Michigan State University. She served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Rockefeller University before joining NIEHS in 1987. She is a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP board certified in 1987).