The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation

Annual Program Book 2018-2019

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Page 24 of 103

23 Cancer Research Program Updates 2016-17 Harold E. Eisenberg Scholar Award Recipient Guang-Yu Yang, MD, PhD The Harold E. Eisenberg Gastrointestinal Cancer Tissue Bank Clinical Research Nurse – Victoria Maurer, MSN, RN, OCN, CNE Guang-Yu Yang, MD, PhD, was named the inaugural Harold E. Eisenberg Scholar in 2016. Using next generation sequencing approach, Dr. Yang and his team have built a large cohort colorectal carcinoma database of more than 300 cases with a comprehensive gene mutation profile on each since the establishment of the database in 2012. Thanks to support from The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, they were able to grow the database from 200 to 300 cases. Within this cohort, Dr. Yang's group has identified 59 cases of BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer (82% from the right colon). Mutation hotspot analysis showed that the vast majority (93.3%) have the most common V600E BRAF mutation, but next generation sequencing also has identified related mutations in other key cancer-related genes. Dr. Yang is continuing to evaluate the efficacy of two drugs—vemurafenib and decitabine— using a mouse model created from patientderived BRAF-mutant colon cancer (called a xenograft model or PDX mice). He is also working on developing other 4 Braf and p53 mutant PDX mouse models of colorectal cancer that can be used to study colon cancer and other therapeutic agents. The study on these models will be significant and will enable him to apply for an R01 grant through the National Institutes of Health. The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation established the Gastrointestinal Cancer Tissue Bank in 2008, which continues to be a valuable resource for Northwestern's scientists and has enabled them to further their investigations through earned National Institutes of Health grants. The bank currently stores 24,217 colorectal cancer tissue samples (2,000 more from last year) from nearly 1,200 patients, equipping researchers with the ability to study what characterizes cancer tissues and to develop investigations aimed at improving prevention, detection, and treatment. The Foundation's philanthropy supports Northwestern's clinical research associate within Gastrointestinal Oncology, Victoria Maurer. Victoria coordinates all ongoing clinical trials and helps patients access trials in a number of ways. She reviews the records of all new gastrointestinal oncology patients to determine if they are eligible for a clinical trial. If they are eligible, Victoria presents this option to them along with the attending physician. She also assesses patients who are currently progressing on treatment for trial eligibility. If we do not have an appropriate trial, Victoria reaches out to other centers to help find appropriate trials. Clinical trials are important for patients with gastrointestinal cancers in order to develop new effective treatments. There are only a limited number of Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies, and as patients are living longer, clinical trials allow us to test new therapeutic options. Philanthropy In Action Gastrointestinal Cancer Research

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