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Research Programs

Clinical-based Research

Gastrointestinal Malignancies


The DF/HCC GI Program welcomes clinicians and investigators seeking to unravel the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of GI cancers, to understand genetic and environmental risk factors, and to design and implement novel strategies for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. We bring together over 80 basic, clinical and population science investigators from all institutions of the DF/HCC. The Program has a broad and open focus on GI cancers including colorectal, pancreas, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, anus, biliary tract, liver and neuroendocrine lineages within these organ systems.

Program Leader

Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH

The five specific aims of the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Program include:

  • Identify the full spectrum of genetic mutations driving colorectal and pancreatic tumorigenesis
  • Develop and implement model systems to understand mechanisms by which specific mutations contribute to disease and to evaluate and monitor targeted therapeutic interventions
  • Determine whether polymorphic variation in genes defined above increase risk, and define at-risk populations to determine whether these polymorphisms are modified by environmental risk factors.
  • Undertake targeted therapeutic trials using novel endpoint assessment and imaging based on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of colorectal and pancreatic cancer
  • Determine the effectiveness of screening and treatments for colorectal and pancreatic cancer by evaluating patient outcomes

These aims were outlined in the Comprehensive Cancer Support Grant (CCSG), however the program encourages and supports collaborative investigation in all areas of GI cancer research, treatment and prevention.