Novel Approaches & New Therapeutic Platforms
Pradipta Ghosh (MCC)
Michael Bouvet (MCC)
Garth Powis (Sanford Burnham)
A team of researchers comprised of engineers, cancer biologists, and physician-scientists have joined forces to intercept the devastating disease that is Gastric Cancer (GC). GCs often present as advanced disease and kill silently. Fortunately, this disease has well known triggers, e.g., the cancer-causing bug, Helicobacter pylori (Hp) and some poorly understood, but definite pre-cancerous states that are typically not treatable by surgery but could be specifically intercepted with medical treatment. Currently, no such treatment exists; this team seeks to change just that.This team is deploying a new set of mathematical tools for finding precise drugs that prevent GCs and utilizing human stem-cell based disease models for target validation. The team has already created the first-ever map of how GCs begin and has defined the most important steps of GC progression that could be precisely intercepted with drugs. Going forward, their goal is to validate ~3-6 new drugs, some aimed for prevention and others for halting metastatic disease.There are 2 reasons why this team is likely to succeed where others have failed:
First, when it comes to drug discovery in GC, this team employs precise and unbiased AI-based approaches to expose previously unknown and undefined intermediate stages before GCs and reveal how to stop progression.
Second, when it comes to drug testing, this team has developed human models that are reverse engineered with the GC-causing bug, the stomach lining and the immune cells to mimic the human “stomach-in-a-dish”. These human-relevant models are expected to enable rapidly translation of discoveries.