2008 Recipient – Dr. Yaguang Xi

drxi-colon-cancer-researcherDr. Yaguang Xi
University of South Alabama – Mitchell Cancer Institute


Grant amount: $30,000


In 2008, Dr. Yaguang Xi was awarded Fight Colorectal Cancer’s first Lisa Dubow Research Fellows Grant. Dr. Xi received his medical and PhD degrees in Beijing, China. After working as a surgeon for several years, he decided to focus on research and began work on his postdoctoral research with Dr. Jingfang Ju at the University of South Alabama – Mitchell Cancer Institute.

Dr. Xi’s grant, which was competitively awarded through the American Association for Cancer Research peer review process, has two parts. In his prior research, Dr. Xi looked for micro-RNA, tiny bits of genetic material which help regulate cellular functions. He identified a number of micro-RNA which had higher levels in colorectal cancer cells than in normal cells.

Research Aims
During the first part of his grant sponsored research, Dr. Xi will examine the impact high levels of these specific micro-RNAs have on how sensitive cancer cells are to chemotherapy with 5-FU, Eloxatin, and Camptosar. If cells fromtumors with high levels of micro-RNAs don’t respond well to these drugs, it could indicate that reducing the amount of these micro-RNAs in cancer cells may increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy, thereby identifying a promising new method to improve treatment for colorectal cancer.

In the second part, Dr. Xi will look for micro-RNAs in the tumors of hundreds of people with stage II or III colorectal cancer who had a recurrence, and attempt to determine if the presence of specific micro-RNAs correlate with a favorable or unfavorable patient outcome. This study might provide markers to identify patients who need aggressive adjuvant treatment after surgery to prevent recurrence.

Lisa Dubow dreamed of a day when even the most dangerous and deadly colorectal cancer could be cured. You can help Fight Colorectal Cancer make those dreams come true by supporting the work of imaginative young cancer researchers by investing in the Lisa Fund.