$900K grant to Christiana Care will advance stem cell research

Senior Research Scientist Bruce Boman, M.D., Ph.D., MSPH, FACP, at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute of Christiana Care Health System, has received a $916,577 grant award from the Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation to further stem cell research into the origins of colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, equally affecting both men and women. Each year there are 130,000 new cases in the United States, and 40 percent of those affected will die from their disease.

The three-year grant will enable Boman and his team at the Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR) at Christiana Care to continue building on their discovery that stem cell overpopulation is the mechanism that drives cancer development and growth in the colon. This knowledge could ultimately aid in developing targeted and more effective cancer treatment strategies.

“While we know that stem cell overpopulation drives colon tumor development,” Boman said, “but we don’t completely understand which dysregulated mechanisms cause the overpopulation.”

Support from the Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation will allow further investigation into the understanding of which dysregulated cellular mechanisms cause the stem cell overpopulation.

“Partnership with Dr. Boman and his team at the Center for Translational Cancer Research holds great promise for a better understanding of how stem cells play a role in the cancer development,” said William J. Martin, the secretary-treasurer of the Moseley Foundation. “This work is directly in line with the Foundation’s mission to support stem cell research and promises to accelerate scientific progress toward better cancer treatments.”

Boman’s team will take a multidisciplinary approach drawn from tumor biology, cancer genetics, pathology, medical oncology and molecular biology to discover how stem cells are regulated in the normal healthy colon and how gene mutations contribute to stem cell overpopulation in tumors.

“The Moseley Foundation’s multi-year grant will spur the momentum of our cancer research program with support for a key research group investigating cancer stem cells,” said Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. “As Delaware’s leader in cancer treatment, genetics and clinical trials, we continue to seek opportunities to integrate basic cancer research into clinical practice that ultimately translates into advanced treatment for our patients.”

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