Gastrointestinal cancer research at Providence Cancer Center

September 30, 2016

Providence Cancer Center is actively involved in gastrointestinal cancer research, focusing our attention on cancers of the upper (esophagus and stomach), middle (pancreas, liver, gall bladder, bile ducts and small intestine) and lower (colon, rectum and anus) gastrointestinal tract. Under the leadership of Todd Crocenzi, M.D., director of gastrointestinal oncology research, our team is exploring effective ways to integrate immunotherapy with standard treatments.  

Currently, 17 studies are open for patients with colorectal, liver, esophageal, pancreatic and other GI cancers, including:

A study combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy and radiation for patients with stage II or III rectal cancer 
Title: Phase II Study of TGFβ Type I Receptor Inhibitor LY2157299 with Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation in Patients with Locally Advanced Rectal Adenocarcinoma
Description: The purpose of this study is to see how effective and safe Galunisertib (LY2157299), in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, might be in treating rectal cancer. Also as part of this study, research will be done on tumor samples to see if it is possible to predict if patients will respond to treatment, and blood samples to look at the immune system response to study treatment.

This study is led by Kristina Young, M.D., Ph.D., a Providence radiation oncologist and scientist. Her early research found that combining radiation with a novel immune therapy greatly enhanced the treatment, which could result in better health outcomes for patients. Dr. Young was recognized recently as one of the 15 most promising young researchers in the nation by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research.

Click here to see all gastrointestinal cancer studies currently open to patients.