Research Interests

Our research focuses on the identification of natural substances, such as phytoestrogens, that significantly contribute in cancer prevention and/or treatment. Previous research projects investigated the roles of different substances, such as equol, tamoxifen, tocotrienols/ tocopherols, 6-BIO (6-bromo-indirubin-3-oxime) and 7-BIO (7-bromo-indirubin-3-oxime), in cancer prevention and treatment. We have found that some of these compounds, such as the phytoestrogen metabolite equol, may assist the action of classical chemopreventive drugs, such as tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen used in complementary ER+ breast cancer treatment. Others, such as 5-AZA and TSA, inhibit the histone methylation procedure, thus enabling the activation and expression of ERβ in ERβ- tumors. Tocotrienols and tocopherols, on the other hand, are Vitamin E homologs which have anti-tumor affects in several types of cancers. One of our recent projects investigated the molecular mechanisms by which several tocopherol and tocotrienol derivatives, that were shown in the past by our laboratory to be more potent than the original compounds, induce tumor cell apoptosis. 6-BIO and 7-BIO, on the other hand, are synthetic derivatives of the natural substance indirubin, with potential anti-tumor activity. Currently running projects include the discovery of novel ER-binding molecules with potential anti-cancer activity in ER-positive breast cancer as well as the investigation of the underlying causes of chemoresistance in leukemia with emphasis on the role of epigenetic modifications. Consequently, our laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms through which natural substances or their derivatives/metabolites participate in inhibition of carcinogenesis (chemoprevention), or inhibition of tumor progression (anti-tumor effect).


Name Affiliations E-mail
Emeritus Prof. Andreas I. Constantinou Principal Investigator Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.
Christiana Neophytou Post-doctoral fellow Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.
Christiana Savva Ph.D student Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.
Kyriakos Solomou Ph.D student Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.
Irene Theofilou Ph.D student Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.


Emeritus Prof. Andreas I. Constantinou, Ph.D.
Constantinou  Andreas I. Constantinou (PhD) is a professor of Molecular Biology. He served as the director of Research, Functional Foods fro Health Program, University of Illinois (2000-2002), chairman of the department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus 2004-2006) and Dean of the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Cyprus (2006-2008). He identified genistein as a topoisomerase II specific inhibitor and a potent inducer of tumor cell differentiation in human leukemia cells (Cancer Res. 50: 2618-2624, 1990). He identified the molecular pathway by which genistein can induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells. His research also showed that phosphorylation on specific sites of topoisomerase II can cause changes in nuclear architecture that may explain alterations in the transcriptional expression of clusters of genes (Cancer Res. 56: 4192-4199, 1996). He contributed to the discovery of an antitumor drug, which is currently in phase III clinical studies for ovarian cancer (Phenoxodiol). His current research focuses on the discovery of potential chemopreventive agents, the molecular aspects of cancer prevention, and the reversal of tamoxifen resistance. In his previous position at the University of Illinois (Chicago, IL) he had participated in clinical studies to evaluate lycopene (a component of tomatoes) as a chemopreventive agent against prostate cancer. As a member of a team of investigators he evaluated the effects of botanicals in women's health, especially postmenopausal symptoms and he identified a number of compounds with strong antioxidant activity. His laboratory is actively pursuing bioactive botanical constituents and their derivatives in the prevention of breast and prostate cancer and the discovery of small molecules in targeted cancer therapeutics. His research utilizes in silico modeling, cultured cells, animal models, and human subjects. He is an associate editor for the journals "Nutrition and Cancer" and "in vivo". He served in National Scientific Advisory Boards (where he participated in the review of research applications) such as the Army Breast Cancer Research Projects (1994-1996), National Institutes of Health (1995-1998, 2000-2003), the American Cancer Society (2004- 2007) and the Californian Breast Cancer Research Board (2004 - 2006).

Link to Dr Constantinou Profile webpage.


Christiana Neophytou, Ph.D.
neophytou profile  Dr. Christiana Neophytou is a special scientist at the Cancer Biology and Chemoprevention laboratory of the University of Cyprus. She obtained a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Athens and an M.Sc. in Experimental Molecular Biology from the University of Cyprus. During her undergraduate degree, she investigated molecular mechanisms that lead to the activation of genes thought to be responsible for carcinogenesis in breast and lung epithelial cells. She also conducted a research project as part of her M.Sc. Degree at the University of Cyprus in cooperation with Yasoo Health. This project entailed the use of several natural and synthetic compounds in order to induce apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. She recently defended her PhD thesis and published her research regarding the anti-cancer effects of a Vitamin E synthetic derivative in breast cancer.


Christiana Savva, Ph.D. candidate.
savva profile  Christiana Savva is currently a Ph.D. Candidate of Molecular Biology at the Department of Biological Sciences, Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Chemoprevention. She received her B.Sc. in Biology at 2009 from the University of Athens and her M.Sc. in Experimental Molecular Biology in 2011 from the University of Cyprus. Her B.Sc. dissertation involved the investigation of two alternative isoforms of the L-dopa decarboxylase gene in the development and progress of neuroblastoma. Her M.Sc. dissertation project was focused on the investigation of the anti-cancer effect of Resveratrol in combination with Vorinostat and Decitabine in androgen-depended and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. Currently, her Ph.D. research focuses on the evaluation of the anti-cancer properties of a novel compound in acute leukemic cell lines and on the determination of its molecular mechanism of action.


Kyriakos Solomou, Ph.D. student
kyriakos profile  Kyriakos Solomou is a PhD candidate. He obtained a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Manchester, in July 2012. During his final year of undergraduate studies he wrote a thesis about the importance of paxillin in the formation and turnover of focal adhesions in human fibroblasts. In November 2013 he obtained an M.Sc. in Cancer Research and Molecular Biomedicine from the University of Manchester. His projects involved: 1. designing and building a protein which aims to modify endogenous genes thought to be involved in metastasis of breast cancer and 2. studying the dynamics of hydrogen peroxide signaling in metastatic melanoma using zebrafish xenograft models. His is currently investigating the anti-cancer effect of two synthetic compounds, selected following in silico screening with potential Estrogen Receptor binding affinity, in breast and endometrial cancer cells.


Irene Theofilou, PhD student
irene profile  Irene Theofilou is a PhD candidate at the laboratory of Cancer Biology and Chemoprevention. She obtained a BSc Honors degree in Biomedical Materials Science from the University of Nottingham in 2013 and the following year she received an MSc in Cancer with Merit from University College London (UCL). As part of her BSc dissertation she studied the "The effect of strain measurements on bone cells such as MG63-osteoblast-like cells on modified polymer substrates" and she received the Individual Project Prize for achieving the best overall performance in her course. For her dissertation during her MSc studies, she investigated the functional significance of novel interactors of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) identified in a protein interaction screen. She is currently developing a co-culture system to investigate the efficacy of TPGS, a vitamin E derivative, on leukaemic cell lines.




Publications - PDF files

2012 NC Constantinou 1998 Biochem Constantinou
2012 BBRC Nicolaou 1998 ASCN Constantinou
2012 Athos 1997 JNCI Constantinou
2009 Nutrition and Cancer 1997 IJOO Constantinou
2009 JCMM-Georgaki 1997 FN Constantinou
2009 Current Cancer Drug 1997 DNA & CB Constantinou
2009 CCDT Constantinou 1997 CP Constantinou
2009 BP Constantinou 1997 BCRT Constantinou
2009 Biochem. Pharm. 1997 AMB Constantinou
2008 IJC ConstantinouC 1996 MP Constantinou
2007 NC Tonetti 1996 CR Constantinou
2006 ANYAS-LDH 1996 AR Constantinou
2005 EJC Constantinou 1995 OR Constantinou
2004 lycopen 1995 NM Constantinou
2004 Oncogene Constantinou 1995 JNP Constantinou
2004 AR Constantinou 1995 GTCD Constantinou
2003 NCRC Constantinou 1995 DAAEA Constantinou
2003 EJC Constantinou 1995 CARCINOGENESIS Constantinou
2002 PB Constantinou 1994 RR Constantinou
2002 JAFH Burdette 1994 AR Constantinou
2002 ICT Constantinou 1993 BBRC Constantinou
2002 AR Constantinou 1992 ECR Constantinou
2001 NC Constantinou 1991 BP Constantinou
2001 MR Constantinou 1990 CR Constantinou
2001 JN Burdette 1990 CC Constantinou
2001 JAFC Liu 1989 ME Constantinou
2001 CRT Constantinou 1989 CR Constantinou
2001 BMANRC Constantinou 1986 JV Constantinou
2000 EJC Salti 1985 Cell Constantinou
2000 EJC Cho 1985 ARS Constantinou
2000 CRT Constantinou  
2000 AR Constantinou  
1999 Lipids Constantinou  
1999 JMF Constantinou  
1999 EJC Constantinou  
1998 EJC Constantinou  
1998 BJC Constantinou  


The lab1

Summer 2012, at the Constantinou house in Aglantzia

AACR 2012

Christiana Savva in front of her poster in the posster session in AACR Chicago Illinois 2012

AACR 2012 2


AACR 2012 3

Chistiana Neophytou at the AACR Chicago IL 2012

AACR Chicago 2012



Chara Pitta in front of her poster at the poster session in Chromatin and Remodelling conference in Aruba in December 2011


Crete 2010 1st Inlamation and Cancer School


Katia Nicolaou Elena Odiatou at Crete 1st Inflamation and Cancer School


Chania Crete 2010


Chara Pitta and Chistiana Charalambous are doing experiments 


Lab´s Christmas Party





The view from our lab


Christiana Savva in the lab

The lab2

Summer 2012, at the Constantinou house in Aglantzia 



Irene Theofilou in the Lab


Lab members in common room

 Lab members in common room


Lab members

 The Lab Members


Name Affiliation Current occupation
Manolis Demetriou Research fellow Ministry of Agriculture
Constantina Constantinou Post-doctoral fellow

(in collaboration with Yasoo Health inc)

Assistant Research Director, University of Nicosia
Panayiota Vraka Post-doctoral fellow Ministry of Health, Nicosia General Hospital, Laboratory of Histopathology
Christina Olymbiou M.Sc student Employee at Larnaca General Hospital
Bethany White M.Sc student Post Doctoral Researcher at Northwestern Medical Center
Andreas Constantinou M.Sc student High School teacher in the Public Sector
Nikoletta Varnava M.Sc student Water Development Department
Christiana Charalambous Post doctoral fellow Assistant Professor at the University of Nicosia
Panos Papagerorgis Post doctoral fellow Assistant Professor at the European University of Cyprus
Elena Odiatou PhD graduate Employee at State General Laboratory
Katerina Nicolaou PhD graduate Researcher at the Center for Study of Hematological Malignancies
Chara Pitta PhD graduate Self employed



Therapeutic Potential via Antioxidant Activity.