Daniel Catenacci, MD - 2010 Young Investigator Award
“The Role of RON EMST1R in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma”
Awarded a $75,000 2010 Young Investigator Award
Gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEC) remains the fourth most common malignancy worldwide and the second most common cause of death worldwide, with some types having an estimated 350% increase in incidence in the United States in the last two to three decades. Most GECs present at an advanced stage, overall 5-year survival is poor, and effective treatments are lacking. RON (MST1R) receptor tyrosine kinase plays an important role in the progression of GEC, especially in the setting of MET coexpression, and is an important prognostic marker and molecular therapeutic target. The goal of this proposal is to determine the RON expression and gene alteration found in GEC. Expression patterns found will be prognostic, correlating with survival outcomes and other clinical parameters. Furthermore, studies will be performed to discover the biological and biochemical effects of specific inhibitors against RON in GEC. These investigations will ultimately lead to the development of optimal strategies for the use of RON inhibitors and how they can be combined with other inhibitors and chemotherapy protocols to further enhance anti-neoplastic effects.
"I owe a great deal to the Cancer Research Foundation for giving me a head start. This financial help made the difference between my getting a fast and successful start, and my other wise struggling to obtain the necessary funds to get my research program started."Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Human Genetics University of Chicago
April 30, 2010