Grants - Translational Grants - Massachusetts - 2019

Adam Bass, M.D.

Stomach cancer, the third-leading cause of cancer death world-wide, is classically divided into two primary types, one of which is called Diffuse Stomach Cancer (DSC).  DSC is a very aggressive and rapidly-lethal disease where we lack effective therapies.  Additionally, DSC also impacts a relatively unique group of patients.  DSC is increasingly common in young females, often women in their 30’s-40’s and is also highly prevalent in the Latin American and Native American populations.  Unfortunately, although DSC patients are in tremendous need of therapies, there has been relatively little laboratory research seeking to understand biology of these cancers or to develop new, more effective therapies.  At our cancer center, we have established a new collaborative research program aiming to address this critical unmet medical need.  We have built off of the progress we have made by studying the specific genes that are abnormally turned on in these cancers.  Over the past years we have specifically studied the biology of DSC and have defined new highly promising candidate therapeutic approaches.  Additionally, our collaborative team has developed new cancer models (cancer cells we can grow and study in the laboratory) from Latin American patients’ (and young females’) cancers.  We now propose to bring together our new candidate therapies and this new collection of patient models to prepare optimal therapeutic approaches for DSC into clinical trials.  This work will enable us to rapidly bring the most promising new therapeutic approaches into patients, including under-represented minorities whose cancers are often not adequately studied.