- Michael Wargovich
- Professor of Molecular Medicine, Cancer Center Council Distinguished Chair in Oncology CTRC and UTHSCSA
1974, Biology – Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
1977, Biological Sciences – Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
1981, Microbiology – Research Program
The Wargovich Lab
Our laboratory investigates ways to prevent various cancers. Our focus is on the chemoprevention of cancer – “Chemoprevention” is a discipline of cancer research that is less than 20 years old and embraces the idea that cancer can be prevented or precancers can be inhibited from progressing to cancer by the use of natural compounds or pharmaceuticals. We study cancer biology using a number of human cancer cell lines and also utilize novel animal models for colon cancer. Natural products can include substances from wine and green tea, fruits and vegetables, compounds in herbs and spices, vitamins and minerals, and dietary supplements. The lab has an interest in both terrestrial and marine botanicals. Via the pharmaceutical route, drug development has led to the discovery of compounds like tamoxifen for the prevention of breast cancer, aspirin for colon cancer.
What We Do
Our laboratory is located in the McDermott Clinical Science building. We concentrate on the search for natural agents that inhibit the process of chronic inflammation, believed to increase the risk for future cancer. Habitual intake of NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) is associated with reduced risk for common forms of cancer, including colon cancer. Because of the toxicity associated with pharmaceutical NSAIDs, we are examining botanical agents that may interfere with chronic inflammation. These include compounds from green tea, the herbal supplements ginkgo and ginseng, and traditional medicines from other cultures. We’re convinced that chronic, clinically undetectable inflammation at the cellular level enables many of the common cancers to form and grow. Tumors corrupt inflammatory pathways to survive. We are looking at ways to prevent this.