Robert Jaffe, MD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Obstetrics Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Research Overview: 

Research is carried out in two major areas: 1) fetal endocrine biology and 2) human ovarian biology and pathophysiology. 

Fetal endocrinology: 
We are assessing factors regulating growth and differentiated function of the human fetal adrenal gland. We found that ACTH exerts its effect on growth through the intermedia-cy of locally produced peptide growth factors, of which insulin-like growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor play pivotal roles. 

We described expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a significant peptide in angiogenesis during the cycle. Currently, we are exploring angiogenesis in ovari-an carcinoma. VEGF is expressed extensively in ovarian cancer cell lines and primary tumors. We introduced cells from the ovarian cancer cell line SKOV 3 s.c. and i.p. in immunodeficient athymic mice. Growth of the s.c. tumors was blocked by administration of a monoclonal antibody hVEGF. Growth of i.p. tumors mimics growth of ovarian carcinoma in women. Administration of the antibody to VEGF i.p. prevents ascites.This raises possibilities for novel forms of therapy.

Selected Publications

Mesiano, S, Katz, SL, Lee, JY, and Jaffe, RB. Insulin-like growth factors augment steroid production and expression of steroidogenic enzymes in human fetal adrenal cortical cells: Implications for adrenal regulation. J. Clin. Endocrinol Metab, 82 (1997): 1390. 

Shifren, J, Mesiano, S, Lee, J., Ferrara, N, Taylor, RN, and Jaffe, RB. Adrenocorti-cotropic hormone increases vascular endothelial growth factor in the human fetal adrenal. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab, 83 (1998): 1342-1347. 

Brandenberger, AW, Tee, MK, and Jaffe, RB. Estrogen receptor alpha (ER-a) and Beta (ER-b) mRNAs in normal ovary, ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma and ovarian cancer cell lines: down-regulation of ER-b in neoplastic tissues. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab, 83 (1998): 1025-1028.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Research Summary: 
Growth and Differentiated Function in Human Fetal Adrenal and Gonad