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Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers remain some of the most difficult to treat, with five-year survival rates below 50 percent for most GI cancer types.

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program aims to better understand what drives these cancers with the goal of identifying and applying better treatment strategies. Our research efforts span the entire spectrum—from in-depth basic research to investigator-initiated clinical trials—across all GI cancer types, including colorectal, gastroesophageal, and pancreatic cancers.

RESEARCH THEMES

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Program supports basic, translational and clinical research across all GI cancer types:

Determining the etiology and pathogenesis of gastrointestinal cancers

Developing biomarkers and imaging techniques to improve detection and predict efficacy of current and novel therapeutics for gastrointestinal cancers

Developing and studying novel laboratory models of cancer to improve understanding of human cancers

Translating laboratory discoveries into clinical investigations

Meet the Program Members

R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., and Jordan Berlin, M.D., are co-leaders of the GI Cancer Research Program. The program has more than 30 members conducting clinical and translational research on a range of gastrointestinal cancers, with particular focus on colorectal, gastroesophageal and pancreas cancers.  


Featured Publications

Program News

April 25, 2019

Receptor’s role in stopping H. pylori

A recent study demonstrates that loss of the receptor NOD1 augments inflammatory and injury responses to H. pylori - and points towards NOD1 as a prime target for modification for either preventing or treating H. pylori infections.
April 25, 2019

Discovery aids search for cancer biomarkers

A report by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has shattered conventional wisdom about how cells, including cancer cells, shed DNA into the bloodstream: they don’t do it by packaging the genetic material in tiny vesicles called exosomes.
April 4, 2019

Cancer prevention drug also disables H. pylori bacterium

Vanderbilt investigators report that a medicine currently being tested as a chemoprevention agent for multiple types of cancer can also act directly reduce the virulence of Helicobacter pylori, the primary cause of gastric cancer.