Fekadu Kassie, DVM, MSc, PhD

Professional Associations

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention program of Masonic Cancer Center and Minnesota Chemoprevention Consortium


Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

College of Veterinary Medicine

Postdoctoral Training, Vienna Institute of Cancer Research, Austria

Postdoctoral Training, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

MSC and PhD in toxicology, University of Vienna, Austria

DVM, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

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Research Summary/Interests

Research in the Kassie laboratory focuses on preclinical development of chemopreventive agents against lung cancer. Chemoprevention is a relatively new field of cancer research and seeks to reverse, suppress, prevent or delay the carcinogenic process either by blocking the development of early lesions or by inhibiting the progression to invasive cancer. Despite improvements in early detection, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, this disease is still the leading cause of cancer related mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. One potential approach to reduce lung cancer mortality is chemoprevention. Our laboratory follows a unique strategy to identify lung cancer chemopreventive agents having acceptable safety and efficacy profiles to warrant human clinical trials. Agents identified, based on published epidemiological or in vitro studies, as promising chemopreventive agents will be administered orally to mice, and efficacy confirmed and target organ concentrations at efficacious dose determined. Subsequently, in vitro studies will be performed, using concentrations achieved at target organ, to determine the potential mechanisms of the chemopreventive agent and identify biomarker of efficacy. This will be followed by further studies in animal models to corroborate the in vitro biomarker findings and assess the correlation between efficacy and change in biomarker level.


For a listing of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine

Kassie F, Uhl M, Rabot S, Grasl-Kraupp B, Verkerk R, Kundi M, Chabicovsky M, Sculte-Herman R, Knasmüller S. Chemoprevention of 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ)-induced colonic and hepatic preneoplastic lesions in the F344 rat by cruciferous vegetables administereed simultaneously with the carcinogen. Carcinogenesis, 2003;24:255-261.

Kassie F, Sundermann VM, Edenharder R, Platt KL, Darroudi F, Lhoste E, Humblot C, Muckel E, Uhl M, Kundi M, Knasmüller S. Development and application of methods to detect dietary constituents protecting against heterocyclcic amines. Mutat Res. 2003;523-524:183-192.

Zsivkovits M, Kassie F, Sontag G, Nabinger U, Huber W, Kundi M, Chakraborty A, Foissy H and Knasmuller S. Prevention of heterocyclic amine-induced DNA- damage in colon and liver of rats by different Lactobacilli strains. Carcinogenesis 2003;24:1913-1918.

Kassie F, Lhoste EF, Bruneau A, Zsivkovits M, Ferk F, Uhl M, Zidek T, Knasmüller S Effect of microflora from vegeterians and meat eaters on the genototoxicity of 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline, a carcinogenic heterocyclic amine. J Chromatogr Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sc. 2004;802:211-215.

Humblot C, Lhoste E, Knasmüller S, Gloux K, Bruneau A, Bensaada M, Durao J, Rabot S, Andrieux C, Kassie F. Protective effects of Brussels sprouts, oligosaccharides and feremnted milk towards 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline-induced genotoxicity in the human flora associated F344 rat. J Chromatogr Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2004;802:231-237.

Kassie F, Anderson L, Schreber, R, Yu N, Lahti D, Upadhyaya P, Hecht S. Indole-3-carbinol inhibits 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP)-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice and modulates carcinogen-induced alterations in protein expression. Cancer Res 2007;67:6502-6511.

Lamy E, Volkel Y, Roos PH, Kassie F, Mersch-Sundermann (2007) Ethanol enhanced the genotoxicity of acrylamide in human metabolically competent HepG2 cells by CYP2E1 induction and glutathione depletion. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2007;211:74-81.

Kassie F, Anderson LB, Higgins L, Pan Y, Matise I, Negia M, Upadhyaya P, Wang M, and Hecht SS. Chemopreventive agents modulate the protein expression profile of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone plus benzo[a]pyrene-induced lung tumors in A/J mice. Carcinogenesis 2008;29:610-619.

Kassie F, Matise I, Negia M, Lahti D, Pan Y, Scherber R, Upadhyaya P, Hecht SS. Combinations of N-acetyl-S-(N-2-phenethylthiocarbamoyl)-L-cysteine and myo-inositol inhibit tobacco smoke carcinogen-induced lung adenocarcinoma in A/J mice. Cancer Prev Res. 2008;1;285-297.

Johnson T, Kassie F, O`Sullvian G, Negia M, Hanson T, Upadhyaya P, Ruvolo P, Hecht SS, Xing C. Chemopreventive effect of kava on 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone plus benzo[a]pyrene-induced lung tumorigenesi sin A/J mice. Cancer Prev Res. 2008;1:43043-43048.

Kassie F, Matise I, Negia M, Upadhyaya P, Hecht SS. Dose-dependent inhibition of tobacco smoke carcinogen-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice by indole-3-carbinol. Cancer Prev Res 2008;1:568-576.

Kassie F, Kalscheuer S, Matise I, Melkamu T, Upadhyaya P, Hecht SS. Inhibition of vinyl carbamate-induced pulmonary adenocarcinoma by indole-3-carbinol and myo-inositol in A/J mice. Carcinogenesis 2010;31:239-245.

Melkamu T, Zhang X, Tan J, Zeng Y, Kassie F. Alteration of microRNA expression in vinyl carbamate-induced mouse lung tumors and modulation by the agent indole-3-carbinol. Carcinogenesis 2010;31:252-258.

Loureiro AP, Zhang W, Kassie F, Zhang S, Villalta PW, Wang M, Hecht SS. Mass Spectrometric Analysis of a Cyclic 7,8-Butanoguanine Adduct of N-Nitrosopyrrolidine: Comparison to Other N-Nitrosopyrrolidine Adducts in Rat Hepatic DNA. Chem Res Toxico, 2009;22:1728-1735.

Hecht SS, Kassie F, Hatsukami DK. Chemoprevention of lung carcinogenesis in addicted smokers and ex-smokers. Nat Rev Cancer 2009;9:476-488.

Melkamu T, Zhang X, Tan J, Zeng Y, Kassie F. Alteration of microRNA expression in vinyl carbamate-induced mouse lung tumors and modulation by the agent indole-3-carbinol. Carcinogenesis 2010;31:252-258.

Kassie F, Melkamu T, Endalew A, Upadhyaya P, Luo X, Hecht SS. Inhibition of lung carcinogenesis and critical cancer-related signaling pathways by N-acetyl-S-(N-2-phenethylthiocarbamoyl)-l-cysteine, indole-3-carbinol and myo-inositol, alone and in combination. Carcinogenesis 2010;31:163416-41.

Dagne A, Melkamu T, Schutten MM, Qian X, Upadhyaya P, Luo X, Kassie F. Enhanced inhibition of lung adenocarcinoma by combinatorial treatment with indole-3-carbinol and silibinin in A/J mice. Carcinogenesis 2011;32, 561-567.

Qian X , Melkamu T, Upadhyaya P, Kassie F.Indole-3-carbinol inhibited tobacco smoke carcinogen-induced lung adenocarcinoma in A/J mice when administered during the post-initiation or progression phase of lung tumorigenesis. Cancer Lett. 2011;311:57-65.



  • Oncology