Esophageal Cancer Research
In January 2013, TargetCancer provided $35,000 in new grant funding to support Dr. Adam Bass’ research of esophageal cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This funding builds on TargetCancer’s $10,000 grant to Dr. Bass in 2012, which supported his genomic study of esophageal cancer- the largest such study ever attempted.
TargetCancer’s $35,000 grant is intended to support further research into the discoveries made through Dr. Bass’ genomic study. The overarching goal of Dr. Bass's laboratory is to build off of the discovery of the key genes that are driving the growth and survival of these tumors in order to develop new therapeutic strategies. Specifically, Dr. Bass is expanding upon his efforts to find more effective approaches to treat esophageal cancers that have aberrant activation of a particular cancer-causing gene called ERBB2 (HER2).
In March 2013, Dr. Bass' research was published in Nature Genetics. This groundbreaking paper identified the molecular signature of esophageal cancer for the first time. According to Dr. Bass, this discovery "presents us with a slate of known genetic abnormalities that can someday be used to diagnose the disease at an early stage, classify tumors by the particular mutations within esophageal adenocarcinoma cells, and ultimately develop treatment geared to precisely those mutations." TargetCancer is proud to have contributed to have contributed to the research that made this extraordinarily important paper possible. You can read more about the paper here.
TargetCancer’s support is also enabling the Bass laboratory to pursue other novel targets that are emerging from their genomic studies. The hope is for these projects to inform the development of new and more effective therapeutic approaches for these deadly tumors in the coming years.
In Dr. Bass’ own words:
With this donation from TargetCancer, our research laboratory at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute can continue our ongoing efforts to characterize the genomic alterations underlying the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Our laboratory is working together with the Broad Institute to study the genome of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Through these efforts we have identified new genes that may play critical roles in these tumors. Building off of these insights from the cancer genome, we are bringing new findings into the laboratory where we will be able to perform focused study on new candidate genes that may be playing critical roles in these tumors. These genomic and laboratory studies will thus provide a foundation for defining new therapeutic targets that can enable the development of improved therapies for patients with these cancers. We are grateful for this support from TargetCancer that is allowing us to work towards greatly needed progress for this deadly and understudied cancer.”