John B. Kisiel, M.D., focuses his research primarily on the discovery and translation of biomarkers for the early detection of cancer. Collaborating industrywide, Dr. Kisiel's team of multidisciplinary, translational and academic investigators seeks to leverage molecular markers for noninvasive cancer screening and surveillance.
- Multicancer early detection testing. Dr. Kisiel and colleagues have reported best-in-class DNA markers for 14 of the most lethal cancers in humans, and are integrating these results into a multicancer early detection test. To accomplish this long-term goal, they have developed internationally recognized expertise in next-generation DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and clinical trial execution. The team includes laboratory, statistical and clinical coordinator subteams; active research includes nearly 70 institutional review board-approved protocols in collaboration with faculty principal investigators from almost every cancer-focused department or division at all three Mayo Clinic campuses and within Mayo Clinic Health Systems. Active collaborations also involve multiple cancer-focused national consortia and academic partnerships in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
- Stool DNA testing. Dr. Kisiel has collaborated with investigators at Mayo Clinic and other institutions to examine the real-world evidence in support of stool DNA testing in colorectal cancer screening, and to detect colitis-associated cancers and precancers in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
Significance to patient care
Stool DNA testing has been used to screen for colorectal cancer in over 4 million people. The DNA methylation marker technology used in this test also shows promise for detecting cancers throughout the body when sampled from blood or through other minimally invasive means. Dr. Kisiel and his colleagues are working to develop this technology to noninvasively screen for cancers that are difficult to detect with currently available tools. With this effort, they hope to transform the practice of cancer screening by enabling highly lethal cancers to be found and treated at a curable stage.