John Lewis

Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Oncology Dept


Professor, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Oncology Dept
(780) 492-6113
5142C Katz Group Centre For Research
11315 - 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5


Area of Study / Keywords

ghrelin prostate cancer angiogenesis nanoparticles cancer metastasis imaging


Translational Prostate Cancer Research Group
We study prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian men. Our goal is to foster an environment where scientists, doctors and clinical researchers work together to address key challenges in prostate cancer care. As a team, we hope to accelerate the transfer of research discoveries from the "bench to the bedside" to make an impact on those living with cancer.

To achieve this, we recognize the importance of training future researchers with the skills to work on the threshold between discovery and applied research. This is facilitated by regular multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss research projects, new innovations and clinical trials.

Our research program is supported by public funds and fundraised dollars, and much of the progress we've made to date would not have been possible without this support. Members of the group are actively involved in community outreach activities, and we regularly attend community awareness and fundraising events to share the good news stories of our research efforts.

Whether new discoveries begin at the bedside or the bench, our group is focused on understanding and ultimately curing aggressive prostate cancer.

Alberta Prostate Cancer Research Initiative (APCaRI)
APCaRI brings together a multi-disciplinary team of prostate cancer scientists, physicians, patients, healthcare employees and an international collaborative network together to positively impact the outcomes and quality of life of those living with prostate cancer by accelerating the translation of new research ideas from the laboratory to the clinic.


The Lewis lab utilizes real-time intravital imaging of the tumour microenvironment to learn about the critical steps of cancer progression, including the growth of new blood vessels and the gain of tumour cell motility that leads to metastasis. We are investigating novel nanoparticles that are being developed for the early detection of prostate cancer, drug delivery, and the in vivo study of tumour cell invasion and metastasis. Connecting these intimately related projects is an integrated research platform that we've developed for long term time-lapse intravital imaging of human cancer progression.

Homing in on cancer: platforms for targeted imaging and drug delivery
Nanoparticles are a novel class of agents that take advantage of innovative advances in nanotechnology for the development of therapeutics, vaccines and imaging tools. In 2006, we were the first to describe nanoparticles based on the plant virus Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) as tools for intravital vascular imaging, and we have since developed a complementary platform for screening nanoparticle formulations in human tumour xenografts. We and others have described the attachment of a variety of functional groups to viruses and other nanoparticles, and have been working in recent years to adapt this platform for prostate cancer imaging and drug delivery. Several nanoparticle platforms under development are promising candidates for the development of prostate cancer imaging and therapeutic agents.


Cancer metastasis: strategies to detect and block the spread of cancer

Like other cancers, prostate cancer becomes deadly when it spreads, or metastasizes. We have been interested for some time in learning more about the genes and proteins that cause prostate cancer to spread. With our collaborators, we have recently shown that tetraspanin CD151-specific monoclonal antibody 1A5 prevents metastasis by inhibiting tumour cell intravasation. We have begun to evaluate the ability of this CD151 antibody to predict the development of metastatic prostate disease from patient biopsies. We would like in the short-term to develop a better test for prostate cancer that accurately predicts its spread, and in the long term to develop new drugs to block metastasis completely. We hope that these advances will make a significant impact on those living with prostate cancer.

Research Support

Alberta Cancer Foundation
Bird Dogs for Prostate Cancer Research
Prostate Cancer Canada
Alberta Innovates Health Solutions
Motorcycle Ride for Dad
National Institutes of Health (USA)
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Canadian Foundation for Innovation
Canadian Cancer Society

Featured Publications

Purcell S.A., Oliveira C.L.P., Mackenzie M., Robson P., Lewis J.D., Prado C.M.

Advances in Nutrition. 2022 June; 13 (4):1118-1130 10.1093/advances/nmab153


The Journal of Urology. 2022 May;

Rajput S., Pink D., Findlay S., Woolner E., Lewis J.D., McDermott M.T.

ACS Sensors. 2022 March; 7 (3):827-838 10.1021/acssensors.1c02551

Analysis of the role of PI3K-AKT and DNA damage repair (DDR) genomic biomarkers as predictors of clinical outcomes in nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC)

Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2022 February;

Bell C.J., Potts K.G., Hitt M.M., Pink D., Tuszynski J.A., Lewis J.D.

CANCER LETTERS. 2022 February; 526 10.1016/j.canlet.2021.11.028

Kalra A.P., Eakins B.B., Vagin S.I., Wang H., Patel S.D., Winter P., Aminpour M., Lewis J.D., Rezania V., Shankar K., Scholes G.D., Tuszynski J.A., Rieger B., Meldrum A.

NANO LETTERS. 2022 January; 22 (1):517-523 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c04487

Pink D., Donnelier J., Lewis J.D., Braun J.E.A.

Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2022 January; 15 10.3389/fnins.2021.762439

Li X., Buckley B., Stoletov K., Jing Y., Ranson M., Lewis J.D., Kelso M., Fliegel L.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES. 2021 December; 22 (24) 10.3390/ijms222413263

Rudzinski J.K., Govindasamy N.P., Asgari A., Saito M.S., Lewis J.D., Jurasz P.

THROMBOSIS RESEARCH. 2021 October; 206 10.1016/j.thromres.2021.08.008

604P Predictive genomic biomarkers in non-metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) treated with androgen receptor pathway inhibitors (ARPi)

Annals of Oncology. 2021 September;

Yankaskas C.L., Bera K., Stoletov K., Serra S.A., Carrillo-Garcia J., Tuntithavornwat S., Mistriotis P., Lewis J.D., Valverde M.A., Konstantopoulos K.

Science Advances. 2021 July; 7 (28) 10.1126/sciadv.abh3457

Predicting risk of disease progression during active surveillance for prostate cancer: Analysis comparison of patient clinical features with a machine learning algorithm to the CANARY risk calculator

CUAJ . 2021 June;

Stoletov K., Willetts L., Beatty P.H., Lewis J.D.

Jove-Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2021 January; 2021 (168):1-16 10.3791/62077

Abou-Ouf H., Assem H., Ghosh S., Karnes R.J., Stoletov K., Palanisamy N., Lewis J.D., Bismar T.A.

European Urology Open Science. 2021 January; 23 10.1016/j.euros.2020.11.005

Asgari A., Lesyk G., Poitras E., Govindasamy N., Terry K., To R., Back V., Rudzinski J.K., Lewis J.D., Jurasz P.

JOURNAL OF THROMBOSIS AND HAEMOSTASIS. 2021 January; 10.1111/jth.15478

Kalra A.P., Patel S.D., Eakins B.B., Riddell S., Kumar P., Winter P., Preto J., Carlson K.W., Lewis J.D., Rezania V., Tuszynski J.A., Shankar K.

Small. 2021 January; 17 (1) 10.1002/smll.202003560

Kedarisetti P., Bouvet V.R., Wei S.H.I., Bergman C.N., Dufour J., Ilkhechi A.K., Bell K.L., Paproski R.J., Lewis J.D., Wuest F.R., Zemp R.J.

Biomedical Optics Express. 2020 November; 11 (11):6211-6230 10.1364/BOE.410527

Dinakaran D., Sengupta J., Pink D., Raturi A., Chen H., Usmani N., Kumar P., Lewis J.D., Narain R., Moore R.B.

Acta Biomaterialia. 2020 November; 117 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.09.029

Rudzinski J.K., Govindasamy N.P., Lewis J.D., Jurasz P.

JOURNAL OF THROMBOSIS AND HAEMOSTASIS. 2020 November; 18 (11):2976-2986 10.1111/jth.15020

Vasquez C., Kolinsky M., Djebah R., Uhlich M., Donnelly B., Fairey A.S., Hyndman E., Usmani N., Wu J., Venner P., Ruether D., Todd G., Chetner M., Crump R.T., Beatty P.H., Lewis J.D.

BMJ Open. 2020 October; 10 (10) 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037222