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Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma Research

Researchers Establish Biorepository to Lead Research Efforts to Understand Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma

A team of University Hospital researchers established a biorepository to collect signet ring cell cancer specimens from patients nationally and internationally. Signet Ring Cell cancer is an uncommon and incredibly complex cancer.

Principal Investigators Joseph Willis, MD, and Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD are leading the research efforts to understand better Signet Ring Cell carcinoma, including the disease genesis, whether there are gastric variants of this cancer and the disease weaknesses. Researchers aim to culture the signet ring cell cancer biospecimens collected by the biorepository to test different therapeutics and treatment methods and eventually immunotherapy and create clinical trials to evaluate the various treatments.

Through quality assurance practices, the researchers hone in on the best samples from the biorepository to study the baseline molecular profiles that best fit the majority of signet ring cell cancers. Researchers aim to understand better the molecular pathway and genomic sequencing of this cancer as previously achieved by studying colon cancer. The team focuses on colon and appendix specimens, which are the most common locations for signet ring cell cancer. It can also occur in other organs, including the stomach.

Dr. Markowitz, leader of one of four nationally funded Gastrointestinal (GI) SPORE grants, a nationally recognized center for research excellence, also supports the signet ring cell cancer research efforts at University Hospital. In addition, researchers collaborate with the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and their state-of-the-art, sophisticated bioinformatics program to further advance the agenda. The GI Spore grant and other philanthropic support assists researchers in reaching their goal to give people hope who live with this aggressive cancer.

How to Participate in Signet Ring Cell Cancer Research

Signet Ring Cell cancer is unique in that it can be grown in a laboratory and tested against different therapies. As a result, one of the greatest needs for this research is to collect fresh tissue and non-fresh samples from surgical resections and routine procedures.

Contact Us

Are you a patient interested in participating in this research? Email Anne Windau MT (ASCP) or
call 216-286-7562.

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