Gastrointestinal Cancer SPORE

Goal: use of combined modality therapy in the treatment of diseases of the GI tract, and assessing possible biological indicators of treatment response.

From 2004-2011, the UNC Gastrointestinal Cancer SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence), one of only four in the country, was led by UNC radiation oncologist Dr. Joel Tepper.  The radiation oncology component of this research program focused on the use of combined modality therapy in the treatment of diseases of the GI tract, and assessing possible biological indicators of treatment response.  For example, we performed tumor biopsies to monitor changes in gene expression caused by radiation therapy, and then trying to correlate those changes with tumor response.  Other studies attempted to inhibit the NFkB signaling pathway as a means of enhancing tumor cell killing by radiation.

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