the Mushett Family Foundation, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
The Beast in the Belly: Targeted Therapies for Gastrointestinal Cancer
Posted May 22, 2008
Gastrointestinal cancers account for roughly 20% of all newly diagnosed cancers in the United States each year and include cancers of the esophagus, colon, rectum, and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Although these cancers are united by the fact that they start in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, they arise in different cell types and detection and treatment vary according to the location and type of cancer.
In a full-day conference held at the Academy on March 14, 2008, researchers gathered to discuss recent findings that are enhancing our understanding of GI cancers and to promote new treatment approaches. The symposium brought together leading scientists and clinicians to present new research on potential biomarkers for identifying the preliminary stages of GI cancer, targeted therapies that could halt its progression, and the molecular pathways that contribute to tumorigenesis. The symposium culminated with a discussion of ways to foster collaborations between academic and industry.
This conference and eBriefing were made possible with support from the Mushett Family Foundation and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
American Cancer Society
A nationwide, voluntary health organization that compiles statistical information about cancer rates as well as information, advocacy, and public policy. General information about colorectal and stomach cancer is available on their site.
Cancer Stem Cell
Wikipedia entry describing definition and properties of a cancer stem cell.
A company formed to explore the key regulators of epithelial stem cells and develop therapeutics that control cell production in the therapeutic areas of oncology (by killing cancer stem cells) and epithelial diseases.
Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
A program dedicated to the study intestinal epithelial cell biology with the goal of studying the etiology, progression, and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
A cancer organization that conducts research, provides patient care, and educates and trains clinicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Learn more about their work on stomach and colorectal cancer.
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, James Cancer Hospital, and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James) has a patient information page explaining all about gastrointestinal cancer.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology
A project that seeks to define and elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying squamous cell carcinogenesis in the esophagus with eventual translation to new strategies in diagnosis and therapy.
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Joanna Groden, PhD
Joanna Groden is a professor and vice chair for academic affairs, and associate dean for basic research in the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the Ohio State University. Her lab is working to understand some of the factors that confer inherited susceptibility to cancer, with an emphasis in the area of gastrointestinal cancers. In particular, she studies Bloom's syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis coli, two inherited syndromes which confer susceptibility to cancer. Through this work she is learning more about the mechanisms by which genomic integrity and appropriate cell growth and differentiation are maintained.
Groden completed her PhD at the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Utah. Before joining Ohio State, she spent approximately 12 years at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
Christoph Lengauer, PhD, MBA
Christoph Lengauer studied human genetics and biology at the University of Salzburg, Austria, and received his PhD from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Following postdoctoral studies at the IMP (Institute of Molecular Pathology) in Vienna, Austria, he joined Bert Vogelstein's group at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center of Johns Hopkins University and worked there for eleven years. In 1998, he became faculty member of the School of Medicine at Hopkins, and later served as director of its Drug Discovery Laboratory at the Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics.
Currently, Lengauer is executive director and senior unit head of oncology at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). He is also adjunct associate professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and faculty associate of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University. In addition to his science degrees, he holds an MBA in medical services management.
Martin Werner, MD
Martin Werner is the chairman of the Institute of Pathology and full professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany. He is also a member of the executive board of directors of the Tumorzentrum Ludwig Heilmeyer Comprehensive Cancer Center, Freiburg. Werner completed his MD at the University of Saarland in 1986 and his PhD at the University of Hannover in 1993. He received board certification of pathology and molecular pathology in 1995 and 1996. From 1996 to 2000, he held the position of senior chief pathologist at the Institute of Pathology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, in Munich, Germany.
Kathy Granger, PhD
Kathy Granger is program manager for conferences at the New York Academy of Sciences. Before joining the Academy she was a postdoctoral fellow at Weill-Cornell Medical College. A native of South Australia, she received her PhD in microbiology from Monash University, Melbourne.
J. Carl Barrett, PhD
Robert J. Coffey, MD
Ruggero De Maria, MD
Frank Diehl, PhD
Wafik S. El-Deiry, MD, PhD
Stanley R. Hamilton, MD
David Hockenbery, MD
David S. Klimstra, MD
Silke Lassmann, PhD
John P. Lynch, MD, PhD
Christopher Potten, PhD, DSc
Linda D. Siracusa, PhD
Laura H. Tang, MD, PhD
David Threadgill, PhD
Archie Ngai-chiu Tse, MD, PhD
Catherine Zandonella is a science writer based in New York City, covering such topics as environmental science, public health, and applied technology. She has a master's degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Zandonella has written for a number of publications, including New Scientist, The Scientist, and Nature.