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Case Western Reserve receives prestigious $5.4 million grant to study esophageal cancer
Date:10/11/2011

tern Reserve and oncologist at the Seidman Cancer Center at UH Case Medical Center; and Robert Elston, PhD, Amasa B. Ford, MD Professor of Geriatric Medicine and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; and consortium co-principal investigators Dr. William Grady, Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Dr. Nicholas Shaheen, Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"The group of investigators assembled by Dr. Chak is world-class," says Dr. Grady. "I am honored to be a part of this group, and I am looking forward to the progress we will make in understanding and treating Barrett's esophagus."

Dr. Chak first developed an interest in esophageal cancer in the 1990s when he lost a patient to metastatic esophageal cancer, a fairly uncommon disease at its time. "I began to think that there has to be a genetic reason for why this cancer affected someone so young," remembers Dr. Chak. He credits early collaborative efforts with researchers in both in Cleveland and nationally for helping to expand research on Familial Barrett's esophagus to what it is today. The Familial Barrett's Esophagus Consortium (FBEC), developed by Dr. Chak, is now active in seven major institutions nationally, including Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Johns Hopkins University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Pennsylvania, and the Mayo Clinic.

"Collaborations such as these between basic and translational scientists and clinical researchers will be essential to unravel the complex interplay between environmental and genetic influences on cancer development," says Dr. Shaheen.

Although the rate of many common cancers has declined in recent years, the rate of esophageal cancer has increased greater than six-fold over the past three decades. The prognosis for this cancer remains poor, accoun
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Contact: Jessica Studeny
jessica.studeny@case.edu
216-368-4692
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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