Welcome to The Lang Lab
Since its origination in 2012, the Lang Lab has focused its research efforts on studying the emergence of resistance to therapy in patients with advanced prostate cancer and identifying new biomarkers for targeted therapies. Our lab uses microfluidics to identify and capture circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a patient’s simple blood draw, also known as a “liquid biopsy.” In processes co-developed with UW biomedical engineers in the laboratory of David Beebe, PhD, we capture CTCs using antibodies to membrane proteins specific to cancer epithelial cells (EpCAM, Trop-2, PSMA). Using microscopy, gene expression analysis, next-generation sequencing and epigenetic analysis, our aim is to identify pathways that can predict which patients will respond to targeted therapies such as androgen receptor signaling inhibitors (ARSI) and antibody drug conjugates such as sacituzamab govitecan (IMMU-132). These techniques are leading us to a better understanding for developing biomarkers that detect both AR mediated and non-AR mediated mechanisms of resistance, such as treatment emergent small cell prostate cancer.
We have additional interests in understanding the cellular heterogeneity within the multi-focal prostate cancer tumor microenvironment with a specific interest in the role of immune evasion in therapeutic resistance. We established novel model systems to study interactions between the epithelial, stromal, and immune component in 3D integrated microfluidic platforms including the STACKS and LumeNEXT systems also developed by the Beebe Lab. These lab-on-chip models allow for the re-creation, direct fluorescent and confocal imaging, and comprehensive multi-analyte interrogation of the tumor microenvironment.
Over the years, our mission of overcoming treatment resistance using state-of-the-art technologies and a cross-disciplinary strategy that accelerates the clinical translation of bold scientific discovery has remained the same. Our goal is to improve the lives of patients with cancer through a better understanding of their disease.