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Urologic Oncology Laboratory

Photo of Brant Allen Inman, MD, MS

Brant Allen Inman, MD, MS

Office: 3007 Snyderman Bldg, 905 La Salle Street, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 103868, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 919-681-1322
Fax: 
919-684-5220

Scientific Focus

We are a clinical and translational research team working on cancers of the genitourinary tract. While our group does research pertaining to several different urological cancers, we are particularly interested in bladder and prostate cancer. Our approach to research is highly disease focused, which means that we use a wide variety of research methodologies to investigate a single cancer. For example, we use animal models, genetic and immunologic examination of human bladder cancer biospecimens, and biomedical engineering to develop new tests and treatments for bladder cancer. At the same time, we lead several clinical trials in patients with bladder cancer testing new therapies and diagnostic tests. Our laboratory is therefore exceptionally positioned to translate pre-clinical research to early clinical trials. Our laboratory is an excellent training ground for budding surgeon scientists.

Key Projects and Achievements

Our laboratory is part of the Duke Cancer Institute’s multidisciplinary Genitourinary Cancer Laboratory, a dedicated team of researchers from different academic backgrounds focused on the common problem of genitourinary malignancies. We are co-located in a large, open concept, shared-resource, wet laboratory environment on the 3rd floor of the Snyderman building. We are heavily committed to team science and multidisciplinary research and encourage new collaborations with outside groups.

Tumor immunology and immunotherapy

Our research has addressed the role of several co-stimulatory molecules (a.k.a. immune checkpoints) in urologic tumors. Our team was the first to describe the role of PD-L1 in bladder cancer and provided early evidence that it might adversely affect outcomes. Dr. Inman is involved in several clinical trials using PD-L1 and PD-1 blocking antibodies for bladder cancer. In conjunction with this, the team also characterized a soluble form of PD-L1 that is biologically active and exhibits immunosuppressive effects in cancer patients. This is present in biofluids such as urine and blood. We developed a diagnostic test to measure the presence of this biomarker in body fluids. Lastly, we were part of the first team to describe the important role of B7-H3 in prostate cancer and how it too negatively affects outcomes. We are currently assessing B7-H3 as a prostate cancer biomarker (serum and exosomes) and are developing a dendritic cell vaccine that presents antigen and block B7-H3 simultaneously (Grant: DOD-CDMRP PCRP PC150161 PI: Inman BA).

Key references:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17340590

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22138406

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21355078

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21355078

Hyperthermia and heat-targeted therapy

Our team performed the first clinical trials of two novel treatments for non-invasive bladder cancer: deep regional hyperthermia and convection hyperthermia. We were awarded the best clinical paper of 2014 by the International Journal of Hyperthermia for one of these trials. The team has also developed novel devices and methods for performing bladder hyperthermia in the lab, such as magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia and gold nanoparticle hyperthermia, and we have has created preclinical models for these therapies. Recently, we have extended our methods to include novel heat-targeted drug delivery and heat-mediated immune stimulation. We are also exploring combinations of hyperthermia and immunotherapy (Grant: DOD-CDMRP PRCRP CA160715 PI: Inman BA).

Key references:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24697672

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24490762

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22690856

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24050253

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28819209

Diagnostic test development

Our team has studied several novel biomarkers for bladder cancer including urine-based diagnostic assays and tumor-based genetic sequencing classifiers. Where possible we have collaborated in multi-institutional efforts to increase generalizability. We have also carefully evaluated the performance of existing bladder cancer biomarkers and demonstrated key problems with these tests using very large sample sets.

Key references:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28106542

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28074325

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27296150

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25420920

Drug development and clinical trials

Our team has investigated and developed several novel therapies for urologic cancers. This includes performing early preclinical development and translating discoveries to human trials. In addition, Dr. Inman is overall or site PI for several clinical trials testing new drugs and immunotherapies for genitourinary cancers.

Key references:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21692696

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28834453

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28819209

Bladder cancer genetics

Our team recently began working on the genetics of bladder cancer. Presently, we have two small grants with the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine looking at human and canine bladder cancer genetics with respect to their shared environmental causes (mutagens) and their genetic drivers of death. We also have two funded projects with a colleague at Duke Singapore (Steve Rozen) addressing the genetic evolution of bladder cancer and key environmental signatures of cancer.

Key references:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27520487

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26015808

Advanced Training

We accept medical students, urology residents, and urologic oncology fellows as trainees in the laboratory.

Contact Us

Please contact Tracy Hatt for further information.

Tracy.Hatt@duke.edu

919-684-1322

Latest Publications

Vo-Dinh, T, and Inman, BA. "What potential does plasmonics-amplified synergistic immuno photothermal nanotherapy have for treatment of cancer?." Nanomedicine (London, England) 13, no. 2 (January 2018): 139-144.

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Fonteyne, V, Ost, P, Bellmunt, J, Droz, JP, Mongiat-Artus, P, Inman, B, Paillaud, E, Saad, F, and Ploussard, G. "Curative Treatment for Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer in Elderly Patients: A Systematic Review." European urology 73, no. 1 (January 2018): 40-50. (Review)

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Shore, ND, Boorjian, SA, Canter, DJ, Ogan, K, Karsh, LI, Downs, TM, Gomella, LG, Kamat, AM, Lotan, Y, Svatek, RS, Bivalacqua, TJ, Grubb, RL, Krupski, TL, Lerner, SP, Woods, ME, Inman, BA, Milowsky, MI, Boyd, A, Treasure, FP, Gregory, G, Sawutz, DG, Yla-Herttuala, S, Parker, NR, and Dinney, CPN. "Intravesical rAd-IFNα/Syn3 for Patients With High-Grade, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin-Refractory or Relapsed Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: A Phase II Randomized Study." Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 35, no. 30 (October 2017): 3410-3416.

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Spiess, PE, Agarwal, N, Bangs, R, Boorjian, SA, Buyyounouski, MK, Clark, PE, Downs, TM, Efstathiou, JA, Flaig, TW, Friedlander, T, Greenberg, RE, Guru, KA, Hahn, N, Herr, HW, Hoimes, C, Inman, BA, Jimbo, M, Kader, AK, Lele, SM, Meeks, JJ, Michalski, J, Montgomery, JS, Pagliaro, LC, Pal, SK, Patterson, A, Plimack, ER, Pohar, KS, Porter, MP, Preston, MA, Sexton, WJ, Siefker-Radtke, AO, Sonpavde, G, Tward, J, Wile, G, Dwyer, MA, and Gurski, LA. "Bladder Cancer, Version 5.2017, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology." Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network 15, no. 10 (October 2017): 1240-1267.

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