Dr. Himisha Beltran is a medical oncologist, physician-scientist and Director of Clinical Activities at The Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, with a specific research focus on understanding mechanisms of treatment resistance in advanced prostate cancer.
Dr. Beltran’s clinical specialty is the care of patients with prostate cancer. Her particular focus is next-generation genomic sequencing and integrative molecular analysis of advanced metastatic prostate tumors to develop precision cancer care and biomarker driven clinical trials. Her research has brought increased attention to identifying and targeting androgen receptor (AR) negative neuroendocrine prostate cancer, an aggressive subtype of prostate cancer. Dr. Beltran has developed novel biomarkers and a multi-institutional Phase 2 trial of a targeted therapy for patients with this form of prostate cancer.
She is developing a research program to study the RNA and DNA of neuroendocrine prostate cancer to learn how these cancers evolve, to identify molecular alterations to target with drugs and develop clinical trials to bring new effective therapy to patients. Dr. Beltran is the recipient of numerous awards including a Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award, AACR Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award, and Damon Runyon Cancer Foundation Clinical Investigator Award.
Relevant to SPORE Project 1 (Non-Invasive Clinical Assay for Early Detection of Treatment Resistance in Patients with Metastatic Prostate Cancer) she has used genomics and epigenomics to understand tumor evolution in collaboration with Dr. Demichelis (Co-PI) in advanced prostate cancer. They developed biomarkers to identify patients with neuroendocrine prostate cancer, an aggressive subtype of prostate cancer, that we will further develop non-invasively using ctDNA as part of Project
Relevant to Project 2 (Targeting N-Myc and EZH2-driven Castrate Resistance Prostate Cancer) and in collaboration with Dr. Rickman (Co-PI), she has also identified new therapeutic targets for neuroendocrine prostate cancer. Based on their initial work she is leading an investigator-initiated, national Phase 2 clinical trial of the Aurora A inhibitor MLN8237 for NEPC patients. As Director of Clinical Activities within our Institute for Precision Medicine and through a clinical protocol for metastatic tumor biopsies, her goal is to continue to develop molecularly based treatment approaches for patients. Additionally, Dr. Beltran leads functional validation studies in the laboratory and develops early phase clinical trials based on those targets.