Research in Dr. Robin Leach's laboratory focuses primarily on urologic cancers including prostate, bladder and testicular. For prostate cancer, the work centers on identify better markers for progression and outcome, with the long term goal of developing biomarkers that will assist clinically in distinguishing between indolent versus aggressive disease. In addition to the prognostic marker work, Dr. Leach's laboratory works to validate existing biomarkers for prostate cancer with the goal of utilizing them in informed decision making. For bladder cancer, the effort is focused on determine the effects of obesity on bladder cancer progression; this work could ultimately lead to new therapeutic approaches for treating bladder cancer.
Dr. Leach is a molecular geneticist by training and has worked on the genetics of several complex diseases. Recently, this work has been expanded to project in pharmacogenetics and health disparity. As the Chief of the Division of Research for the Department of Urology, she is very interested in better understanding why specific ethnic groups do not respond equivalently to therapies for benign urologic disease such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Blackburn A, Wilson D, Gelfond J, Yao L, Hernandez J, Thompson IM,
Leach RJ, Lehman DM. Validation of copy number variants associated with prostate cancer risk and prognosis. Urol Oncol. 2014 Jan;32(1):44.e15-20.
Thompson IM Jr, Leach RJ, Ankerst DP (2014) Focusing PSA testing on
detection of high-risk prostate cancers by incorporating patient
preferences in decision making. JAMA 312:995-996.
Ankerst DP, Hoefler J, Bock S, Goodman PJ, Vickers A, Hernandez J,
Sokoll LJ, Sanda MG, Wei JT, Leach RJ, Thompson IM (2014) Prostate
Cancer Prevention Trial Risk Calculator 2.0 for the Prediction of low-
vs. High-grade Prostate Cancer. Urology 83:1362-1368.
Chau CH, Price DK, Till C, Goodman PJ, Chen X, Leach RJ, Johnson-Pais
TL, Hsing AW, Hoque A, Tangen CM, Chu L, Parnes HL, Schenk JM, Reichardt
JK, Thompson IM, Figg WD (2015) Finasteride Concentrations and Prostate
Cancer Risk: Results from the Prostate Cancer
Prevention Trial. PLoS One 10:e0126672.
Gelfond J, Choates K, Ankerst DP, Hernandez J, Leach RJ, Thompson IM Jr
(2015) Intermediate term risk of prostate cancer is directly related to
baseline prostate specific antigen implications for reducing the burden
of prostate specific antigen screening. J