Stand up against cancer® (SU2C) today announced three research teams focused on bringing new therapies into clinical trials for the treatment of gastroesophageal cancer (GEC). The research team, part of a DREAM TEAM collective supported by the Torrey Coast Foundation, will bring together top researchers from 11 institutions to tackle the critical challenges of GEC prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The mission of the Dream Team Collective is to encourage new and inclusive cancer research into the causes and treatment of GEC, mentor a new generation of scientists focused on GEC, bring new treatments to the clinic, and medical professionals to better advocate for GEC. Providing tools and materials. screening and treatment with their patients.
SU2C three 2023 Philip A. Sharp has funded the Innovation in Collaboration Awards – which focus on combining new perspectives and encourage the inclusion of early-career investigators – and an SU2C Maverick Early Career Scientist Award – given to an investigator early in their career. and supports a cutting-edge concept that has great potential to impact patient care. Philip A. Sharp awards include a Ziskin Award, which honors legendary Hollywood producer and SU2C co-founder Laura Ziskin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
SU2C is constantly seeking the most promising research opportunities to support our efforts to rapidly bring new and effective cancer treatments to patients. “I’m excited about each of these new grants because they advance critical studies and will greatly expand our understanding of cancer — especially subtypes that are more difficult to treat.”
Julian Adams, PhD, is Chief Science Officer of SU2C
The SU2C-Torrey Coast Foundation Gastroesophageal Cancer Dream Team Collective includes:
- Targeting immune evasion in gastroesophageal cancer – The team will focus on finding better treatment strategies for up to 70% of gastroesophageal cancer (GEC) patients for whom current treatments do not work. Led by Yelena Janzigian, MD, chief of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and co-led by Jed Wolchak, MD, PhD, the Sandra and Mayer Director of the Edward Mayer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, the team will investigate how GEC evade or suppress the immune system. Focusing specifically on GEC characterized by chromosomal instability, which is associated with poor outcomes, metastasis and resistance to current therapies, the team hopes to identify drugs – or combinations of drugs – that can better treat GEC.
- Novel therapeutic approaches for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma – This team will focus on developing new therapeutic approaches for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Anil K., director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Co-led by Rustagi, MD, and Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, the team will investigate aspects of the local environment within and around ESCC where it occurs in the body – including ESCC metastasis – To suggest genetic features that could potentially be targeted with new cancer therapies.
- Therapeutics for gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma: applications, translation, and discovery – This group will focus on discovering new therapies for gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma. Led by core institute member William Sellers of the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard and co-led by Marcella Mauss, MD, PhD, director of cellular immunotherapy at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, the team plans to define and gain a better understanding of the molecular makeup of these cancers, including gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma and squamous cell. Target the surface of carcinoma cells. The team plans to develop CAR-T cells — an immunotherapy that uses a patient’s own modified immune cells to fight cancer — for certain types of gastric and esophageal cancer.
The Philip A. Sharp Award is:
- Philip A. Sharp – Laura Ziskin Innovation in Collaboration Award: Development of Microfluidic Blood Exchange as Next-Generation Parabiosis for Tumor/Microbiota Immunology – The team will combine immunology with bioengineering based on current research showing that microbes in the human gut interact with the immune system to enable anti-tumor responses to cancer. The team, led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine assistant professor Ravi Upadhyay and co-led by David H. Koch Scott Manalis, professor of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that gut microbes could be used in combination with other treatment strategies for cancer therapy in the future.
- Philip A. SHARP Innovation in Collaboration Award: Therapeutic Biparatopic Antibodies Targeting FGFR2 in Gastric Cancer – The team will work to identify better treatments for the 30% of gastric cancer patients in whom a specific protein called FGFR2 is overexpressed, reducing survival. Led by Columbia University Associate Professor Sandra Rayom, Ph.D., and co-led by core institute member William Sellers of the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard, the team will use gastric cancer organoids—small, simplified, three-dimensional tumors or organs grown in a lab—as well as other scientific Methods to test drugs that deliver biological therapies called ‘antibody drug conjugates’ aim to find new therapies for FGFR2 positive gastric cancer patients.
- Philip A. SHARP Innovation in Collaboration Award: Defining immunotherapeutic potential in genome instability-driven squamous cell carcinomas – The team will build on currently funded SU2C research to identify new therapeutic options for patients with Fanconi anemia, who are at high risk of head and neck cancer and have few effective treatment options. Led by Rockefeller University professor Agata Smogorzewska, MD, PhD, and Benjamin Greenbaum, PhD, director of computational immune-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the team will evaluate the likelihood that certain cancers – including head and neck cancers – will respond to immune-based therapies.
The 2023 SU2C Maverick Awards are:
- AI to target undefined molecular subtypes of head/neck cancer – This award will fund work to better understand subgroups of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with the goal of informing better treatment strategies. Maverick Award winner Alexander Pearson, MD, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, will use artificial intelligence to combine data from a variety of diseases, including DNA, digital images of head and neck cancer tumors, and other datasets. To create a comprehensive representation of HNSCC.