Research

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Program studies a wide range of cancers that affect the gastrointestinal system, including pancreas cancer, liver cancer, esophagus cancer and colon cancer.

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Program also manages the Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer SPORE. The SPORE promotes research focused on understanding the causes of pancreatic cancer and the pathways by which pancreatic cancer progresses. The SPORE also develops interventions to treat pancreatic cancer. Read more about the Pancreatic Cancer SPORE.

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Program focuses on two research themes:

  • Mechanisms of carcinogenesis and tumor biology
  • Early detection and prevention of GI cancers

Mechanisms of carcinogenesis and tumor biology

The group of investigators within this research theme in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program works to identify and define the molecular mechanisms that support neoplastic transformation of both luminal and solid organs of the gastrointestinal tract.

Special research emphasis focuses on:

  • Receptor signaling cascades
  • Cell death pathways
  • Checkpoint control
  • Epigenetic transcriptional regulation

Mayo Clinic faculty members collaborating on research in carcinogenesis and tumor biology of gastrointestinal cancers include:

Early detection and prevention of GI cancers

The mission of the group of investigators within this research theme in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program is twofold:

  • Identifying patient subgroups, including people at high risk, that may facilitate the development of novel screening tools and early detection strategies for gastrointestinal cancers
  • Coordinating clinical databases, specimen collection and laboratory activities that support the development of interventions to reduce the incidence and improve the survival of patients at risk of or diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers

Mayo Clinic faculty members collaborating on research in early detection and prevention of gastrointestinal cancers include: