Jeffrey Chou, M.D.,Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2009 AACR-Colorectal Cancer Coalition Fellows Grant in memory of Lisa Dubow.
Dr. Chou, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, will study how to make colorectal cancer stem cells more vulnerable to the body’s immune system.
The award will be made at the AACR’s 100th Annual Meeting in Denver. Funds for the grant were raised by C3 through the Lisa Fund. Donations to the fund are targeted for research to develop treatments for patients with late-stage colorectal cancer.
Dr. Chou will be working with both cell cultures and mice to see if the drug decitabine will make colorectal cancer stem cells respond to immunotherapy. He has identified a protein that is specific to cancer which can be recognized as foreign by the immune system. Once recognized, the cancer/testis antigen NY-ESO-1 elicits a strong immune response that can kill cancer stem cells.
During his research, Dr. Chou will be trying to find out
- If decitabine increases NY-ESO-1 in colorectal cancer stem cells,
- If treating those cells with decitabine and immunotherapy and transplanting them in mice prevents their growing into cancer, and
- If decitabine and immunotherapy can destroy existing colorectal cancer tumors in mice or slow their growth.
Dr. Chou says,
Results from my proposed studies may potentially provide pre-clinical data supporting a novel therapy using a combination of decitabine and immunotherapy for metastatic CRC. I am honored by and grateful for the generous support provided by AACR, C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition, and the Lisa Fund, and I would like to thank my mentor Dr. Edus Warren, who has been invaluable in fostering my development as a cancer researcher.
AACR Fellows Grants are made to young researchers to encourage their scientific work in cancer:
The Fellows Grants support innovative research by a meritorious young investigator by presenting the Fellow with research funds to pursue an independent line of investigation within the context of his/her current Fellowship placement. By allowing a Fellow to acquire the equipment and supplies needed to pursue a new direction in his/her research program, the Fellows Grant assists the Fellow in developing preliminary data to support a future project or investigating a new technique that otherwise would not be possible in the absence of this funding.
Lisa Dubow, who died in 2007, credited her nine years of survival with advanced colorectal cancer to cutting edge research and participation in clinical trials.
Before her death she worked with C3 to create the Lisa Fund to focus on better treatment for metastatic disease. Lisa asked that we not forget about her and other patients battling the hard-to-treat late-stage cancer that had already gotten worse on standard treatments.
Your donation to the Lisa Fund is an investment in colorectal cancer research. Help us assist other researchers looking for better treatments and a cure for colorectal cancer by making a donation to the Lisa Fund today.