We’re committed to colorectal cancer research!
Earlier this year, with our partners at the Cancer Research Institute, we awarded Cindy Sears, M.D. from Johns Hopkins with a $400,000 grant to study the gut microbiome and colorectal cancer. If you’re one of the many individuals who financially support our research efforts, thank you! We’re also grateful for No-Shave November! Part of the funds from last year’s No-Shave donation were put toward this grant.
Dr. Sears’ award was our largest research grant Fight CRC has ever given. To-date, Fight CRC has donated over $1 million in research dollars!
Read more: $400,000 Award to Immunotherapy Research
Tour Dr. Sears Lab!
We asked Dr. Sears to show us around her lab and explain how the research dollars were being put to work!
Dr. Cindy Sears is an investigator working with Fight CRC and the CRI.
She is an infectious diseases specialist with a long interest in how bacteria effect the colon. Her group identified that a particular bacteria that many people carry can contribute (at least in a mouse) to colon cancer.
Now with the grant, she is beginning to investigate how the immune response of organisms may contribute to colon cancer.
She introduces us to Dr. Franck Housseau, a close collaborator on the project, who’s working on isolating particular bacteria in the anaerobic hood with a very specialized piece of equipment, which allows bacteria that don’t like oxygen to grow, which is what happens with many of the organisms in the colon.
One goal of the work is to try to understand which bacteria are important to potentially causing colon cancer and which actually stimulate immune responses that may help colon cancer develop and progress over time.
Their idea is if they can identity bacteria and types of immune responses, they can come up with ways to block bacteria or stimulate the host to control the bacteria so they can control disease and hopefully help with the therapy of colon cancer.
“Our research is to understand the bacteria and the immune responses to the bacteria in the colon. We think it will help us develop new ways to present colon cancer, for example perhaps we will be able to identify bacteria in the colon we know can stimulate growth of tumors, as well as immune responses that may work with the bacteria. We hope it will help us improve therapies for colon cancer – particularly immunotherapies.
How Can You Help?
Dr. Sears gave us a tour as part of our month-long celebration of No-Shave November and showed us research in action. But we need more support to keep this critical research going. How can you help support?