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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

July 26, 2019

Cellular soldiers designed to kill cancer cells that get loose during surgery, stop metastasis

Cellular soldiers created using the body’s own defenses can track down and kill escaping cancer cells during surgeries, preventing metastasis and saving lives, a Vanderbilt University biomedical engineer has discovered, particularly in cases of triple negative breast cancer.
July 11, 2019

Vanderbilt team shows how stomach bug can trigger cancer

Researchers have obtained the first high-resolution image of a molecular “machine” used by the insidious stomach bug Helicobacter pylori to inject a cancer-causing protein into the stomach lining.
June 29, 2019

Eng named to GI cancer leadership position at VICC

Cathy Eng, MD, a national and international leader in gastrointestinal medical oncology, is joining Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC).