Magazine article Medical Economics

Penn Medicine

Magazine article Medical Economics

Penn Medicine

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Penn Medicine's Division of Gastroenterology boasts one of 15 GI/liver centers funded by the National Institutes of Health and is dedicated to the exploration of creative and experimental approaches to treating digestive and liver diseases.

The Penn Medical Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases receives $12 million a year from the NIH, one of the highest NIH grant amounts among GI divisions in the U.S. Recently, researchers have developed both animal and three-dimensional culture models of colon, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers, and are using the animal models in imaging studies, which could result in earlier detection and new therapies for humans, says Anil Rustgi, MD, chief of die Gastroenterology Division.

"We can monitor tumor growth in the mice and then intervene with therapeutics and visualize the effects upon tumor growth," Rustgi says.

In addition, the Penn School of Medicine will receive a $7.5 million grant renewal from the National Cancer Institute over the next five years for its esophageal cancer research program, which explores potential new treatments. One project will focus on the role of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in esophageal carcinogenesis and the mechanisms that allow tumor cell invasion into healthy tissue. Other research aims to determine how the interaction between blood vessels and fibroblasts creates an environment that permits tumor invasion in order to find new ways to treat esophageal cancer.

A joint Penn and Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania GI center helps children with digestive, liver, and pancreatic diseases make the transition from pediatrie to adult care. …

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