Baylor Scott & White Health Shares Gastrointestinal Research at 2017 Digestive Disease Week Conference

Baylor Scott & White Health researchers presented the system’s findings about early detection of high-risk colorectal cancers, noninvasive biomarkers for gastric cancer, and early detection of esophageal cancer at the 2017 Digestive Disease Week conference in Washington, D.C.

Baylor Scott & White Health Drs. Ajay Goel and Raju Kandimalla spoke at the annual conference at a distinguished plenary session. They addressed microRNA, a type of protein playing a role in gene expression, and its role in the early detection and treatment of gastrointestinal disease. Goel explained their experiments examining the role of RNAs in the development of gastrointestinal cancers.

“There’s a growing recognition that cancer is a preventable disease, especially if you are able to find it early enough,” Goel said. “The research we presented puts us at the forefront of developing noninvasive, blood-based diagnostics that can be used for the early detection of disease, disease monitoring and therapeutic treatments.”

Goel and Kandimalla also said they identified a genetic signature that “could detect high-risk colorectal cancer patients with poor prognosis who may benefit from aggressive treatment, while preventing the overtreatment of low-risk colorectal patients.”

Ultimately, Kandimalla said, their translational research on microRNA is only impactful if it “as good as our ability to validate our models and to move on to prospective cohorts.

“Through Digestive Disease Week, we received tremendous interest in further collaboration, which is an exciting prospect in validating and moving our research forward to help patients,” Kandimalla said.

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