Colorectal cancer is a common malignancy in terms of new cases and deaths among men and women in the United States. The past fifty years have seen only marginal improvement in survival from this disease. This improvement is largely due to improved early diagnosis and surgical treatment. The importance of early diagnosis is reflected by the inverse relationship between survival and stage of diagnosis. Patients can expect a greater than 90% survival rate when the cancers are confined to the colon or rectum. This survival rate drops to 66% if the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues and to 8.5% if the primary carcinoma has metastasized. The majority of carcinomas, 57%, are diagnosed at the second and third stages where survival rates are dramatically reduced. As such, the problem of colon cancer remains an important, unmet medical need that demands a better understanding of the disease as well as improved diagnosis and treatment. Our long-term goal is to facilitate the development of new preventive measures for colon adenoma and carcinoma formation by understanding the earliest cellular perturbations leading to disease development.
Our areas of research are:
Gene Expression Profiles
APC and Retinoic Acid Biosynthesis in Cancer and Development
DNA Methylation in Cancer and Development
Zebrafish as a Model for Studying Intestinal Development and Differentiation