Michael Pollak

Academic title(s): 

Director, Division of Cancer Prevention, Department of Oncology, McGill University
Alexander-Goldfarb Research Chair in Medical Oncology, McGill University
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Oncology, McGill University
Director, Cancer Prevention Centre, Segal Cancer Centre
Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Prevention Research, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Contact Information
Address: 

Jewish General Hospital 
3755 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E2

Phone: 
514-340-8222 Ext 25527
Email address: 
michael.pollak [at] mcgill.ca
Group: 
Molecular modeling and new drug development: Development of Biological and Chemical Agents
New therapeutic trial designs in personalized medicine: Cancer Prevention and Cancer Genetics
Current research: 

Dr. Michael Pollak's research program is focused on hormonal influences on cancer. The work of his lab lead to the recognition of important roles of insulin-like growth factors and insulin in cancer biology. As a result of his research, at least a dozen pharmaceutical companies have launched specific drug development programs to develop drug candidates that address novel molecular targets.

Top 5 research publications 

  •  Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, Gann PH, Ma J, Wilkinson P, Hennekens CH, Pollak M. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-I and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Science 279: 563-6, 1998. [see also favorable editorial comment – Science 279: 475, 1998]. Impact Factor: 34.661. Times cited (as of 2019): 1,464. PMID: 9438850.
  • Zakikhani M, Dowling R, Fantus GI, Sonenberg N, Pollak M. Metformin is an AMP-kinase dependent growth inhibitor for breast cancer cells. Cancer Res 66: 10269-73, 2006. Impact Factor: 8.556. Times cited (as of 2019): 535. PMID: 17062558.

  • Kordes S, Pollak MN, Zwinderman AH, Mathôt RA, Weterman MJ, Beeker A, Punt CJ, Richel DJ, Wilmink JW. Metformin in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol 16: 839-47, 2015. Impact Factor: 24.690. Times cited (as of 2019): 101. PMID: 26067687.

  • Hulea L, Gravel SP, Morita M, Cargnello M, Uchenunu O, Im YK, Lehuédé C, Ma EH, Leibovitch M, McLaughlan S, Blouin MJ, Parisotto M, Papavasiliou V, Lavoie C, Larsson O, Ohh M, Ferreira T, Greenwood C, Bridon G, Avizonis D, Ferbeyre G, Siegel P, Jones RG, Muller W, Ursini-Siegel J, St-Pierre J, Pollak M, Topisirovic I. Translational and HIF-1α-Dependent Metabolic Reprogramming Underpin Metabolic Plasticity and Responses to Kinase Inhibitors and Biguanides. Cell Metab 28(6):817-832, 2018. PMID: 30244971.

  • Pollak M. Diet boosts the effectiveness of a cancer drug. Nature 60(7719): 439-440, 2018. Impact Factor: 40.137. PMID: 30127476.

Recent publications

  • DuBois RN, Pollak MN. Cancer Prevention: A Message from the New Editors-in-Chief. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 12(1):1-2, 2019. PMID: 30591430.
  • Heitzeneder S, Sotillo E, Shern JF, Sindiri S, Xu P, Jones R, Pollak M, Noer PR, Lorette J, Fazli L, Alag A, Meltzer P, Lau C, Conover CA, Oxvig C, Sorensen PH, Maris JM, Khan J, Mackall CL. Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A) in Ewing Sarcoma: Role in Tumor Growth and Immune Evasion. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2019 Jan 30. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 30698726.

  • Uchenunu O, Pollak M, Topisirovic I, Hulea L. Oncogenic kinases and perturbations in protein synthesis machinery and energetics in neoplasia. J Mol Endocrinol 1;62(2):R83-R103, 2019. Impact Factor: 3.577. PMID: 30072418.

  • Mark M, Klingbiel D, Mey U, Winterhalder R, Rothermundt C, Gillessen S, von Moos R, Pollak M, Manetsch G, Strebel R, Cathomas R. Impact of Addition of Metformin to Abiraterone in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Patients With Disease Progressing While Receiving Abiraterone Treatment (MetAb-Pro): Phase 2 Pilot Study. Clin Genitourin Cancer S1558-7673(18)30814-0, 2019. PMID: 30686756.

  • Watts EL, Perez-Cornago A, Appleby PN, Albanes D, Ardanaz E, Black A, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Chan JM, Chen C, Chubb SAP, Cook MB, Deschasaux M, Donovan JL, English DR, Flicker L, Freedman ND, Galan P, Giles GG, Giovannucci EL, Gunter MJ, Habel LA, Häggström C, Haiman C, Hamdy FC, Hercberg S, Holly JM, Huang J, Huang WY, Johansson M, Kaaks R, Kubo T, Lane JA, Layne TM, Le Marchand L, Martin RM, Metter EJ, Mikami K, Milne RL, Morris HA, Mucci LA, Neal DE, Neuhouser ML, Oliver SE, Overvad K, Ozasa K, Pala V, Pernar CH, Pollak M, Rowlands MA, Schaefer CA, Schenk JM, Stattin P, Tamakoshi A, Thysell E, Touvier M, Trichopoulou A, Tsilidis KK, Van Den Eeden SK, Weinstein SJ, Wilkens L, Yeap BB, Key TJ, Allen NE, Travis RC. The associations of anthropometric, behavioural and sociodemographic factors with circulating concentrations of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3 in a pooled analysis of 16,024 men from 22 studies. Int J Cancer. 2019 Mar 15. Epub ahead of print. Impact Factor: 6.513. PMIID: 30873591.

  • Sanders JL, Guo W, O'Meara ES, Kaplan RC, Pollak MN, Bartz TM, Newman AB, Fried LP, Cappola AR. Trajectories of IGF-I Predict Mortality in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 73(7):953-959, 2018. Impact Factor: 5.957. Times cited (as of 2019): 1. PMID: 28977343.

  • Abrahami D, Yin H, Yu OHY, Pollak MN, Azoulay L. Incretin-based drugs and the incidence of colorectal cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes. Epidemiology 29(2):246-253, 2018. Impact Factor: 5.986. PMID: 29283894.

  • Oh H, Pfeiffer RM, Falk RT, Horne HN, Xiang J, Pollak M, Brinton LA, Storniolo AMV, Sherman ME, Gierach GL, Figueroa JD. Serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF binding protein-3 in relation to terminal duct lobular unit involution of the normal breast in Caucasian and African American women: The Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank. Int J Cancer 143(3):496-507, 2018. Impact Factor: 6.513. PMID: 29473153.

  • Kulkarni AS, Brutsaert EF, Anghel V, Zhang K, Bloomgarden N, Pollak M, Mar JC, Hawkins M, Crandall JP, Barzilai N. Metformin regulates metabolic and nonmetabolic pathways in skeletal muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissues of older adults. Aging Cell 17(2), 2018. Impact Factor: 8.282. Times cited (as of 2019): 1. PMID: 29383869.

  • Wang Y, Nasiri AR, Damsky WE, Perry CJ, Zhang XM, Rabin-Court A, Pollak MN, Shulman GI, Perry RJ. Uncoupling Hepatic Oxidative Phosphorylation Reduces Tumor Growth in Two Murine Models of Colon Cancer. Cell Rep 24(1):47-55, 2018. PMID: 29972790.

  • Im YK, Najyb O, Gravel SP, McGuirk S, Ahn R, Avizonis D, Chénard V, Sabourin V, Hudson J, Pawson T, Topisirovic I, Pollak MN, St-Pierre J, Ursini-Siegel J. Interplay between ShcA signaling and PGC-1α triggers targetable metabolic vulnerabilities in breast cancer. Cancer Res 78(17):4826-4838, 2018. Impact Factor: 9.122. PMID: 29930100.

  • Tognon CE, Rafn B, Cetinbas NM, Kamura T, Trigo G, Rotblat B, Okumura F, Matsumoto M, Chow C, Davare M, Pollak M, Mayor T, Sorensen PH. Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor stabilizes the ETV6-NTRK3 chimeric oncoprotein by blocking its KPC1/Rnf123-mediated proteasomal degradation. J Biol Chem 293(32):12502-12515, 2018. Impact Factor: 4.125. PMID: 29903916.

  • Leuthold P, Schwab M, Hofmann U, Winter S, Rausch S, Pollak MN, Hennenlotter J, Bedke J, Schaeffeler E, Haag M. Simultaneous Extraction of RNA and Metabolites from Single Kidney Tissue Specimens for Combined Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Profiling. J Proteome Res 17(9):3039-3049, 2018. Impact Factor: 4.268. PMID: 30091608.

  • Pollak M. Diet boosts the effectiveness of a cancer drug. Nature 60(7719): 439-440, 2018. Impact Factor: 40.137. PMID: 30127476.

  • Justice JN, Ferrucci L, Newman AB, Aroda VR, Bahnson JL, Divers J, Espeland MA, Marcovina S, Pollak MN, Kritchevsky SB, Barzilai N, Kuchel GA. A framework for selection of blood-based biomarkers for geroscience-guided clinical trials: report from the TAME Biomarkers Workgroup. Geroscience 40(5-6):419-436, 2018. Impact Factor: 2.900. PMID: 30151729.

  • Ahearn TU, Peisch S, Pettersson A, Ebot EM, Zhou K, Graff RE, Sinnott JA, Fazli L, Judson GL, Bismar TA, Rider JR, Gerke T, Chan JM, Fiorentino M, Flavin R, Sesso HD, Finn S, Giovannucci EL, Gleave M, Loda M, Li Z, Pollak M, Mucci LA; Transdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Partnership (ToPCaP). Expression of IGF/insulin receptor in prostate cancer tissue and progression to lethal disease. Carcinogenesis 39(12):1431-1437, 2018. Impact Factor: 5.072. PMID: 30165429.

  • Lord SR, Cheng WC, Liu D, Gaude E, Haider S, Metcalf T, Patel N, Teoh EJ, Gleeson F, Bradley K, Wigfield S, Zois C, McGowan DR, Ah-See ML, Thompson AM, Sharma A, Bidaut L, Pollak M, Roy PG, Karpe F, James T, English R, Adams RF, Campo L, Ayers L, Snell C, Roxanis I, Frezza C, Fenwick JD, Buffa FM, Harris AL. Integrated Pharmacodynamic Analysis Identifies Two Metabolic Adaption Pathways to Metformin in Breast Cancer. Cell Metab 28(5):679-688, 2018. PMID: 30244975.

  • Hulea L, Gravel SP, Morita M, Cargnello M, Uchenunu O, Im YK, Lehuédé C, Ma EH, Leibovitch M, McLaughlan S, Blouin MJ, Parisotto M, Papavasiliou V, Lavoie C, Larsson O, Ohh M, Ferreira T, Greenwood C, Bridon G, Avizonis D, Ferbeyre G, Siegel P, Jones RG, Muller W, Ursini-Siegel J, St-Pierre J, Pollak M, Topisirovic I. Translational and HIF-1α-Dependent Metabolic Reprogramming Underpin Metabolic Plasticity and Responses to Kinase Inhibitors and Biguanides. Cell Metab 28(6):817-832, 2018. PMID: 30244971.