2015 V Foundation Wine Celebration Volunteer Grant in honor of
Will and Diane Hansen in memory of their daughter
Elizabeth Ann “Betsy” Hansen
Second year funded by UNICO, in honor of Steve Pisano
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the United States. Despite an increase in colon cancer screening, many patients present with advanced disease, including a high proportion from minority and underserved populations. Improved treatment strategies are urgently needed to combat this disease. To develop new therapies, we are now examining what abnormalities or mutations are present in the DNA of the cancer cells. The mutations present in these cells are largely responsible for how the cancers act, including their response to certain drugs. We are now grouping colon cancers based on the profile of mutations that are present and developing combinations of drugs targeting each specific subtype.
In this proposal, we determine the ability of innovative treatments to target subtypes of colon cancer by taking advantage of the cell’s weaknesses based on the mutations they have acquired. Our laboratory has developed new cancer cell and mouse models engineered to develop colon cancers with certain mutations uniquely positioning us to accomplish the studies described in this proposal. These studies will bring us closer to the goal of personalizing treatment for patients with subtypes of colon cancer by identifying the patient population most likely to benefit. These investigations will also guide further studies into overcoming cancer cell drug resistance mechanisms with combination strategies and provide insight into the treatment of other cancer types possessing similar mutations.