Courtney Pollard

University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, United States

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Publications (4)31.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the urinary system, yet our molecular understanding of this disease is incomplete, hampering therapeutic advances. Here we used a genome-wide functional short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) screen to identify suppressors of in vivo bladder tumor xenograft growth (n = 50) using bladder cancer UMUC3 cells. Next-generation sequencing was used to identify the most frequently occurring shRNAs in tumors. Genes so identified were studied in 561 patients with bladder cancer for their association with stratification of clinical outcome by Kaplan-Meier analysis. The best prognostic marker was studied to determine its mechanism in tumor suppression using anchorage-dependent and -independent growth, xenograft (n = 20), and metabolomic assays. Statistical significance was determined using two-sided Student t test and repeated-measures statistical analysis. We identified the glycogen debranching enzyme AGL as a prognostic indicator of patient survival (P = .04) and as a novel regulator of bladder cancer anchorage-dependent (P < .001), anchorage-independent (mean ± standard deviation, 180 ± 23.1 colonies vs 20±9.5 in control, P < .001), and xenograft growth (P < .001). Rescue experiments using catalytically dead AGL variants revealed that this effect is independent of AGL enzymatic functions. We demonstrated that reduced AGL enhances tumor growth by increasing glycine synthesis through increased expression of serine hydroxymethyltransferase 2. Using an in vivo RNA interference screen, we discovered that AGL, a glycogen debranching enzyme, has a biologically and statistically significant role in suppressing human cancer growth.
    Journal of the National Cancer Institute 04/2014; 106(5). DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju062 · 12.58 Impact Factor
  • Courtney Pollard · Shibu Thomas · Michael A. Harding · Dan Theodorescu
    Cancer Research 01/2011; 70(8 Supplement):3082-3082. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM10-3082 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    Courtney Pollard · Steven C Smith · Dan Theodorescu
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    ABSTRACT: Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is the most common type of bladder cancer in Western nations. Most patients present with the non-muscle-invasive (NMIUC) form of the disease, while up to a third harbour the invasive form (MIUC). Specifically, the aetiology of NMIUC appears to be multifactorial and very different from that of MIUC. Loss of specific tumour suppressor genes as well as gain-of-function mutations in proteins within defined cellular signalling pathways have been implicated in NMIUC aetiology. The regions of chromosome 9 that harbour CDKN2A, CDKN2B, TSC1, PTCH1 and DBC1 are frequently mutated in NMIUC, resulting in functional loss; in addition, HRAS and FGFR3, which are both proto-oncogenes encoding components of the Ras-MAPK signalling pathway, have been found to harbour activating mutations in a large number of NMIUCs. Interestingly, some of these molecular events are mutually exclusive, suggesting functional equivalence. Since several of these driving changes are amenable to therapeutic targeting, understanding the signalling events in NMIUC may offer novel approaches to manage the recurrence and progression of this disease.
    Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine 03/2010; 12:e10. DOI:10.1017/S1462399410001407 · 5.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Urinary biomarkers for the detection of bladder cancer have been developed, but no similar markers exist for prediction of clinical outcomes after receiving chemotherapy. Here we evaluate an approach that combines genomic, proteomic, and therapeutic outcome datasets to identify novel putative urinary biomarkers of clinical outcome after neoadjuvant methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (MVAC). Using this method, we identified gamma-glutamyl hydrolase (GGH), emmprin, survivin, and diazepam-binding inhibitor (DBI). Interestingly, GGH is a protein associated with methotrexate resistance, whereas emmprin, survivin, and DBI had been previously identified as predictors of outcome after platinum-containing chemotherapeutic regimens when assessed on tumor tissue. Using disease-free survival as a marker for clinical outcome, we evaluated the ability of GGH, emmprin, survivin, and DBI expression in tumor tissue to stratify 27 patients treated with neoadjuvant MVAC. DBI (P = 0.046) but not GGH (P = 0.190), emmprin (P = 0.066), or survivin (P = 0.393) successfully stratified patients. When GGH was used with DBI the significance of stratification improved (P = 0.024), whereas the addition of survivin or emmprin to this latter two-gene model reduced its significance (P = 0.036 and P = 0.040, respectively). Although these predictive results were obtained on tumor tissues, the presence of GGH and DBI in urine serves as a rationale for developing them as urinary markers of clinical outcomes for patients treated with neoadjuvant MVAC.
    American Journal Of Pathology 10/2009; 175(5):1824-30. DOI:10.2353/ajpath.2009.090155 · 4.59 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

33 Citations
31.66 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • University of Colorado
      • Department of Surgery
      Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States