Grant Awarded to Identify New Druggable Targets in Gastroesophageal Cancer

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The DeGregorio Family Foundation with support from the Torrey Coast Foundation Gastro Esophageal Investigator Network Initiative (GEMINI) has awarded $200,000 to Eric S. Fischer, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to discover new protein degradation targets in gastroesophageal cancer. Depending on results, this grant funding could increase up to $500,000.

Esophagogastric cancers are highly lethal and despite advances for some patients such as immunotherapy, there is a lack of targeted therapies and other appropriate treatment options for the majority of patients.

Targeted protein degradation refers to the use of small molecules called "degraders" to remove disease-causing proteins by reprogramming the human body's waste disposal system. This approach allows the expansion of the scope of targeted therapies beyond conventionally druggable targets such as kinases and holds tremendous promise for new therapies.

In this project, Eric Fischer and his team will use their expertise in targeted protein degradation and a unique mass spectrometry-based target discovery platform to uncover targets specifically in esophagogastric adenocarcinoma. This work will provide the foundation for the development of novel therapeutics and fills a critical gap in the knowledge of this lethal disease.

In 2020, gastric and esophageal cancers combined killed over 1.3 million people worldwide. Patients continue to face poor prognoses following gastric and esophageal cancer diagnoses due to their chemo-resistant behavior and ability to metastasize.

"I am tremendously excited for the support from the DeGregorio Family Foundation to systematically identify druggable targets in this deadly disease."

"We are very pleased to support Dr. Fischer's research and this new area of drug development," concluded Lynn DeGregorio, President and Founder of the DeGregorio Family Foundation.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute provides expert cancer care while advancing the understanding of cancer and related diseases. The Institute focuses on training new generations of clinicians and scientists, disseminating innovative patient therapies and scientific discoveries around the world, and reducing the impact of cancer.

The DeGregorio Family Foundation, founded in 2006 after a 10th member of the DeGregorio family died of stomach cancer, has raised more than $8 million to fund innovative research to cure gastric and esophageal cancers. It is the only public foundation focused on funding research grants for both of these cancers.

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SOURCE DeGregorio Family Foundation

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