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This profile was last updated on 2/12/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Stephen L. Lessnick

Wrong Dr. Stephen L. Lessnick?

Professor

Phone: (801) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: s***@***.edu
Huntsman Cancer Institute
2000 Circle Of Hope
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
United States

Company Description: The Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) conducts genetic cancer research, utilizing the largest genetic database in the world compromised of over three million people....   more
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • MD
  • bachelor's degree
    Brandeis University
  • PhD , Pediatric Oncology
  • PhD , Oncology
  • M.D.
  • Ph.D.
72 Total References
Web References
Solving Kids' Cancer | Podcasts | This Week in Pediatric Oncology
solvingkidscancer.org, 2 Dec 2013 [cached]
TWiPO #16 ~ Genetic Underpinnings of Ewing Sarcoma: Interview with Dr Stephen L. Lessnick
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Dr Tim Cripe and co-hosts Dr Lionel Chow and Dr Lars Wagner welcome special guest Dr Stephen Lessnick for an in-depth discussion on the progress to date in understanding the genetics of Ewing's sarcoma.
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Stephen Lessnick is a Professor of Pediatrics and Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah, where he also serves as an Attending Physician in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT. He received his PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA in 1994, and his MD from UCLA in 1996, followed by a residency at Children's Hospital in Boston, and a fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital. Currently, Dr. Lessnick is the Director of the Center for Children's Cancer Research at Huntsman Cancer Institute, a Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research at the University of Utah, and is the Vice Chair for Biology of the Bone Tumor Committee in the Children's Oncology Group.
Analysis of NR0B1 in Ewing’s sarcoma
www.sarcomahelp.org, 31 Aug 2009 [cached]
By Stephen L. Lessnick, MD, PhD
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By Stephen L. Lessnick, MD, PhD
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The grant was for a new study by Dr. Stephen Lessnick entitled, "Analysis of NR0B1 in Ewing's sarcoma.
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"Doctors and researchers have long known that certain Ewing's sarcoma patients respond to chemotherapy, but others don't even though they have the same form of cancer," says HCI Investigator Stephen Lessnick, M.D., Ph.D. "Our research shows that GSTM4 is found in high levels among those patients where chemotherapy doesn't seem to work. It's found in low levels in patients where chemotherapy is having a more positive effect."
The research could lead to drugs that can suppress GSTM4 in certain patients. It also could lead to a screening test that could reveal which therapies will be most effective for patients. "GSTM4 doesn't seem to suppress the benefits of all chemotherapy drugs, just certain ones. A GSTM4-based test could help to identify the best therapy for each individual patient," Lessnick says.
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By examining how EWS-FLI interacts with certain microsatellites, Lessnick and his team were able to identify GSTM4.
Lessnick says the next step in research is to focus on testing and treatments that may lead to better survival rates in patients. "Personalized medicine is the next frontier in the battle against cancer," he says. "We now know all cancers are not the same. By focusing on how these proteins are expressed in individual tumors, we may soon be able to offer the treatment that will work best for each patient, and that could lead to higher cure rates," he says.
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Lessnick is director of HCI's Center for Children's Cancer Research, and is a Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research. This research was supported by funds from the Terri Anna Perine Sarcoma Fund, the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, the Sunbeam Foundation, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, and Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
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Both of the studies will be directed by Stephen Lessnick, M.D., Ph.D. at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The ultimate goal of the first study, "New Approaches for EWS/ETS Detection in Ewing's Sarcoma" is to improve physicians' abilities to provide an accurate diagnosis of Ewing's sarcoma to patients, to provide physicians' with molecular data which may be relevant to prognosis, and to provide a new non-invasive assay for the measurement of treatment response. The goal of the second study, "Analysis of NR0B1 in Ewing's sarcoma" is to help to characterize the molecular mechanisms involved in Ewing's sarcoma development. Additionally, by fully understanding these mechanisms, Dr. Lessnick and his team hope to identify new therapeutic approaches for patients with this devastating disease.
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Dr. Lessnick proposes to adapt a newly reported methodology, LMF, towards the detection of EWS/ETS fusion transcripts. He and his team will first develop the system to detect any of the various EWS/ETS fusion transcripts that have been reported. Next, they will assess the sensitivity and specificity of LMF on laboratory-based samples, and compare these results to the current gold standard, RT-PCR. Next, they will extend their analysis to determine if the methodology can be used to detect Ewing's sarcoma cells in experimentally derived blood samples. Finally, they will assess this methodology to an animal model of Ewing's sarcoma to mimic a likely clinical scenario. If they are able to successfully develop this assay, and if it is more sensitive and specific than the standard RT-PCR assay, they plan to further develop this into a clinical assay through ongoing collaborations with experts in the field of molecular testing for solid tumors. The ultimate goal of Dr. Lessnick and his team is to use this assay to improve physicians' abilities to provide an accurate diagnosis to patients, to provide them with molecular data which may be relevant to prognosis, and to provide a new non-invasive assay for the measurement of treatment response.
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Dr. Lessnick and his colleagues recently developed a system to circumvent this difficulty. By "knocking-down" endogenous EWS/FLI expression in patient-derived Ewing's sarcoma cell lines, using retroviral-mediated RNAi, they have been able to define the full complement of EWS/FLI gene targets in Ewing's sarcoma. They have identified two of these as being critically important for tumorigenesis mediated by the fusion protein. One of these, NR0B1, is an orphan nuclear receptor whose only prior known role is in adrenal and sexual differentiation. Thus, they defined a new role for this factor. Dr. Lessnick now proposes to characterize the structure-function relationships present in NR0B1. He and his team will use a "knock-down/rescue" system to remove endogenous NR0B1 expression, and replace it with mutant forms of the protein.
Connective Tissue Oncology Society
www.ctos.org, 4 Jan 2014 [cached]
Stephen L. Lessnick, M.D., Ph.D. (2011-2013) stephen.lessnick@hci.utah.edu
The technique, developed in the lab ...
www.huntsmancancer.org, 19 Mar 2012 [cached]
The technique, developed in the lab of Stephen Lessnick, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Children's Cancer Research at HCI, combines microarray technology, which can look for thousands of translocations in a single test, with a novel antibody that is used to detect the presence of the translocation.
"We're moving past the age when a pathologist looking through the microscope at a tumor sample is the best way to diagnose what type of cancer it is," said Lessnick. "The molecular tests currently available are slow, inefficient, and expensive, and one of the biggest issues is that you need high-quality tumor samples, not always available in the clinical setting, to do them. According to Lessnick, his method tolerates real-life specimens much better than the current standard techniques.
...
We took their method and applied it to our study of chromosomal translocations in human tissue," Lessnick said. He said the next task is to find a commercial partner to develop this research from a 'proof of principle' into a diagnostic test that doctors can use to help their patients.
"With this method, there's potential to develop a single array that could test for every known cancer-causing translocation simultaneously. Currently, a clinician has to decide beforehand which specific cancer to test," he said.
The research used Ewing's sarcoma (a rare childhood cancer) as the case study for developing the method, but Lessnick maintains that the technology can be easily applied to any type of cancer caused by a translocation.
Funding for this project came from the National Institutes of Health's Innovative Molecular Analysis Technology program. The program focuses on rapid movement of new ideas from basic science labs (such as the Cairns lab) out into the clinical realm. "They were willing to fund this idea without a lot of preliminary data because it showed good potential to move toward clinical uses," said Lessnick.
Lessnick is a Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research, and a professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Utah.
The June 2010 Issue of ESUN: The Electronic Sarcoma Update Newsletter
www.sarcomahelp.org, 24 July 2011 [cached]
Dr. Stephen Lessnick calls for papers on the molecular basis of sarcoma.
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