DeGregorio Family Foundation funded research.
2012 - The 3rd Annual DeGregorio Foundation Award for Cancers of the Upper GI Tract
The DeGregorio Family Foundation for Gastric and Esophageal Cancer is currently reviewing applications for the 3rd annual funding opportunity for gastroesophageal malignancies. The Foundation seeks to promote and facilitate collaborative research on the pathogenesis, early diagnosis, and treatment of upper gastrointestinal malignancies. We support high quality, innovative, and transformative translational and bent research to improve the understanding of the biology of these diseases, identification of potential novel therapeutic targets, or in the development and evaluation of novel biomarkers for early diagnosis and treatment.
Funding Period: January 1 2013- December 31, 2014.
Amount: $250,000 direct costs for entire grant period (100% of the funding must be dedicated to the research project)
The March 2012 issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology included the results of a study conducted by a team of researchers which included members of DeGregorio Family Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board. The study examined the hypothesis that the development of gastric cancer in patients with a history of tobacco use may be associated with increased risk of cancer-specific death after curative surgical resection. In addition to the important work done by all the researchers credited as authors of the study, the DeGregorio Family Foundation played a critical role in the work through our gastric cancer registry – which supplied the samples necessary to conduct the work.
Click here to read the entire article.
In January 2012, the Board of Directors of DeGregorio Family Foundation announced the awarding of two research grants totaling $250,000 – one to Dr. David Frank at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School and one to Dr. Manish Shah, Director, Gastrointestinal Oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. The process was highly competitive and included research proposals from the leading cancer research institutions in the country.
Dr. Frank's research will target stomach and esophageal cancer through what are known as Dual Transcription Factor Inhibitors. Dr. Frank and his team have identified several drugs that simultaneously block two key signaling pathways that drive the malignant behavior of gastric and esophageal cancer cells. These drugs are designed to be more effective at killing these cells, to prevent the emergence of cancer cells that are resistant to therapy, and to have few if any side effects. In the work funded by this grant, Dr. Frank will evaluate the activity of these compounds in laboratory models, in an effort to expand understanding of how they work and begin the process of developing clinical trials for patients.
Dr. Shah will focus his research on one of the leading environmental causes of stomach cancer - H. pylori infection. The molecular mechanisms of how cancer cells are produced (carcinogenesis) due to H. pylori have not been completely explained and consequences of infection are variable and unpredictable. Dr. Shah and his team will examine the RNA "signature" of the gastric mucosa in patients with H. pylori infection and examine the spectrum of disease associated with infection. They will also examine bacterial content of samples to pinpoint the specific H. pylori strain(s) and the stomach microbial profile to correlate with the gastric mucosal transcriptome and predisposition of gastric cancer. The goal of this study is to identify the potential pathways and biomarkers that may help doctors better predict when gastric cancer will develop in a patient who has chronic H. pylori infection.
2010 - DeGregorio Family Foundation funds the expansion of the registry to international sites. Hospitals in Nigeria, and will be opening soon at a hospital in Israel.
2009 - In one of our earliest grants, the DeGregorio Family Foundation awarded $100,000 to two distinguished researchers at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Adam Bass and Dr. Matthew Meyerson, to conduct investigations into the genes and the genetic differences which are drivers of esophageal cancers. Funding from the DeGregorio Family Foundation played a crucial role in initiating sequencing a set of key genes within esophageal adenocarcinoma samples, and DeGregorio initial funding to attract additional funding resources to complete the sequencing of all genes within a larger collection of samples. Drs. Bass and Meyerson are now sequencing the final samples in this group and have begun analyzing the vast data set that resulted from this work. We believe that this effort will result in very significant insights into the pathogenesis of esophageal adenocarcinoma once the analysis is complete. This work is the critical first step in the identification of potential therapeutic targets which are mutated in a number of the esophageal cancers which were studied, and this information is essential to discovery of additional novel genes that may influence cancer formation. The results of this exciting work will be published in July 2012 and we look forward to sharing the outcomes on our website.
Read Adam Bass's research. Gastrointestinal Adenocarcinomas of the Esophagus, Stomach, and Colon Exhibit Distinct Patterns of Genome Instability and Oncogenesis
2006 - 2009 The DeGregorio Family Foundation created and continues to fund the Early Onset and Familial Gastric Cancer Registry at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to identify individuals at high risk for stomach cancer and those with a familial predisposition to stomach cancer. The registry collects important data that will help researchers better understand the various types of stomach cancers and provides samples they can use in their work. The registry already boasts nearly 1000 participants and has opened satellite locations at Queens Cancer Center and University of Southern California domestically; as well as a hospital in Nigeria, and will be opening soon at a hospital in Israel.