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Penn collaborates on $8 million Barrett's esophagus research network
Date:11/3/2011

PHILADELPHIA - A research group at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, led by John Lynch, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, has received a National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to establish a Barrett's esophagus translational research network (BETRNet) with Columbia University (led by Dr. Timothy Wang) and the Mayo Clinic (led by Dr. Kenneth Wang). The award is for nearly $8 million across all sites.

Barrett's esophagus (BE) is an increasingly prevalent, pre-cancerous disorder that results primarily from reflux of acid and bile. It afflicts millions of Americans and is a precursor to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), which has the fastest rate of increase of any cancer in the US.

Co- principal investigators are Lynch, Gary Falk, MD, professor of Medicine; Greg Ginsberg, MD, professor of Medicine and director of endoscopy; Antonia Sepulveda, MD, PhD, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Anil K. Rustgi, MD, T. Grier Miller professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology. Drs. Rustgi, Timothy Wang and Kenneth Wang direct the BETRNet's coordination with two other funded institutions -- the University of Michigan as and Case Western Reserve University -- in conjunction with the NCI and Vanderbilt University (coordinating center).

"We are all very excited to be a part of this multicenter research network," says Lynch. "Our understanding of the pathogenesis of Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma has lagged behind that of other cancers because we have not yet developed physiologically relevant laboratory models and an integrated research network, both of which are supported by this award."

The award provides for a multidisciplinary, translational research program to study the origins and pathogenesis of the disorder. The team, which has collaborated in the past, will focus on the role of chronic inflammation an
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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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