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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 Cathy Eng, 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

February 4, 2021

Potential biomarker for IBD severity, cancer risk identified

A selenium transport protein produced in the colon is underexpressed in patients with ulcerative colitis and helps protect against colitis-associated cancer in an animal model, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered.
November 18, 2020

New drug for metastatic colorectal cancer enters phase 3 trial

A new therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer that has been granted fast track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is being tested in a phase 3 clinical trial at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
November 1, 2019

New Physician Spotlight: Cathy Eng

Cathy Eng, MD, a national and international leader in gastrointestinal medical oncology, was recruited to VUMC from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.