NCI Grant Funds Esophageal Cancer Research

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded a $5.4-million grant¹ to support esophageal cancer research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The five-year award will support the Barrett’s Esophagus Translational Research Network, an NCI initiative that consists of multiple centers working together to develop an understanding of the genetics behind Barrett’s esophagus—a precursor to cancer—and esophageal cancer.

Leading gastrointestinal cancer researcher Amitabh Chak, MD, professor of medicine at the school and a gastroenterologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, will lead the network. He will work with a team of co-directors made up of other leading cancer researchers from Case Western Reserve as well as colleagues from the University of Washington and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

By identifying the genes that cause familial Barrett’s esophagus, researchers hope to develop new methods of identifying who’s at risk for the condition, improve early detection of Barrett’s and esophageal cancers, and monitor Barrett’s esophagus to recognize when it is likely to progress to cancer.

1 Research funded by NIH grant Nos. 1U54-CA163060-01, 3R01-DK070863-05S1, 5R01-DK070863-05 and 1RC4-DK090645-01.