Lan G. Coffman, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Medicine

Education & Training

  • BS, Biology, Math, Loyola College, 2003
  • MD, PhD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2010
  • Internal Medicine Residency, University of Michigan, 2012
  • Hematology/Oncology fellowship, University of Michigan, 2016

Research Interest Summary

The Coffman lab seeks to improve ovarian cancer treatment by studying the impact of the ovarian cancer stromal microenvironment on critical aspects of ovarian cancer growth and spread.

Research Categories

Research Interests

Dr. Coffman is a physician scientist actively conducting laboratory based and translational research and maintaining a specialized clinical practice focused on the medical treatment of ovarian cancer. Dr. Coffman’s research focuses on understanding and targeting the cancer supporting stromal tissues which are critical to the survival, growth and spread of ovarian cancer. Specifically, Dr, Coffman’s lab studies a critical non-malignant component of the ovarian cancer microenvironment, the carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cell (CA-MSC). CA-MSCs are stromal progenitor cells which significantly increase cancer growth, enrich the cancer stem cell pool and increase chemotherapy resistance. 

The lab studies how CA-MSCs are formed and develop tumor supporting properties. The lab also focuses on identifying important tumor cell:CA-MSC interactions which mediate CA-MSC’s pro-tumorigenic functions and have potential for translation into new therapeutic targets. Additionally, the lab studies how CA-MSCs impact the development of ovarian cancer metastasis and the metastatic microenvironment.

The ultimate goal of this research is to translate novel laboratory findings into powerful therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer.

Representative Publications

*Miller LD, *Coffman LG, Chou JW, Black MA, Bergh J, D'Agostino R Jr, Torti SV, Torti FM (*co-first author): An iron regulatory gene signature predicts outcome in breast cancer. Cancer Res 71(21): 6728-37, 2011. PM21875943/PMC3206152

Choi YJ, Ingram PN, Yang K, Coffman L, Iyengar M, Bai S, Thomas DG, Yoon E, Buckanovich RJ: Identifying an ovarian cancer cell hierarchy regulated by bone morphogenetic protein 2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(50): E6882-8, 2015. PM26621735/PMC4687560

Coffman LG, Burgos-Ojeda D, Wu R, Cho K, Bai S, Buckanovich RJ: New models of hematogenous ovarian cancer metastasis demonstrate preferential spread to the ovary and a requirement for the ovary for abdominal dissemination. Transl Res 175: 92-102, 2016. PM27083386/PMC5003680

Coffman LG, Choi YJ, McLean K, Allen BL, di Magliano MP, Buckanovich RJ: Human carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells promote ovarian cancer chemotherapy resistance via a BMP4/HH signaling loop. Oncotarget 7(6): 6916-32, 2016.      PM26755648/PMC4872758

Iyengar, M, O’Hayer, P, Cole, A, Sebastian, T, Yang, K, Coffman, L*, Buckanovich, R* (*co-last author): CDK4/6 inhibition as maintenance and combination therapy for high grade serous ovarian cancer. Oncotarget 9(21):15658-15672, 2018.                   PM29644000/PMCPMC5884655

McLean, K, Tan, L, Bolland, D, Coffman, L, Peterson, L, Talpaz, M, Neamati, N, Buckanovich, R. Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Functions in Parallel with Interleukin-6 to Promote Ovarian Cancer Growth. Oncogene. Oct 2018. PM30305729

Coffman, L, Pearson, A, Frisbie, L, Freeman, Z, Christie, E, Bowtell, D, Buckanovich, R. Ovarian carcinoma-associated mesenchymal stem cells arise from tissue-specific normal stroma. Stem Cells. Oct 2018.PM30353617

Bai, S, Zhu, W, Coffman, L, Vlad, A, Schwartz, L, Elishaev, E, Drapkin, R, Buckanovich, R. CD105 is expressed in ovarian cancer precursor lesions and is required for metastasis to the ovary. Cancers. 2019. 11(11): 1710.

Brown, JR, Chan, DK, Shank, JJ, Griffith, KA, Fan, H, Szulawski, R, Yang, K, Reynolds, K, Johnston, C, McLean, K, Uppal, S, Liu, R, Cabrera, L, Taylor, S, Orr, B, Modugno, F, Mehta, P, Bregenzer, ME, Mehta, G, Shen, H, Coffman, LG*, Buckanovich, RJ* (*co-last author): Phase II clinical trial of metformin as a cancer stem cell-targeting agent in ovarian cancer. JCI Insight. 2020 May 5. PubMed PMID: 32369446

Fan, H, Atiya, H, Wang, Y, Pisanic, T, Wang, T, Foy, K, Frisbie, L, Buckanovich, R, Chandler, C, Shen, H, Coffman, L. Epigenetic reprogramming towards mesenchymal-epithelial transition in ovarian cancer-associated mesenchymal stem cells drives metastasis. BioRxiv. Feb. 26, 2020.

Full List of Publications