Skip to Main Content
CWRU Links
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Special Research Initiatives

Special Research Initiatives

Office of Cancer Disparities Research

Director: Monica Webb Hooper, PhD

The Office of Cancer Disparities Research is the foundation of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center’s efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate the disproportionate burden of cancer by promoting health equity focused research and outreach.

GI Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE)

Principal Investigators: Sanford D. Markowitz, MD, PhD and Nathan A. Berger, MD

In September 2011, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center was awarded an $11.3 million research grant to establish a GI SPORE- GI Cancers Research Center at Case Western Reserve University. With this designation, CWRU joins only six other nationally recognized GI Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) Center in the country. Researchers from CWRU, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic, all members of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, collaborate in the research effort.

Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet)

Principal Investigators: Amitabh Chak, MD, MS, Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, William M. Grady, MD, and Nicholas Shaheen, MD, MPH

This five-year award from the National Cancer Institute will support the Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet), which consists of multiple centers collaborating to develop an understanding of the basis of Barrett's esophagus and its conversion to esophageal carcinoma. Researchers will also work to determine the role genetics and environmental factors play in the development and progression of these diseases, with the ultimate goal of reducing the mortality associated with this deadly cancer.

Ohio Brain Tumor Working Group

Co-Leaders: Steven Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, Peter Houghton, PhD, and Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD

This group was created to plan for the formation of the Ohio Brain Tumor Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE).

Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer

Co-Leaders: John Letterio, MD and Stan Gerson, MD

The initiative promotes basic understanding of the biology of the metastatic process and of therapy resistance in cancers that occur in the 15-to-30 age range, and leverages expertise in imaging, drug development and other cross-institutional facets of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in relation to AYA cancers. This initiative was made possible by the generous support of Char and Chuck Fowler. 

The support of the Fowlers and prioritization by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center of studies focused on cancers occurring in this age range marks the first creation of an AYA-dedicated center within a NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. With cross-center collaboration, our hope is to make an impact on the prognosis for distinct cancers that affect the AYA population, such as Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma. These cancers, while rare in young individuals, are often highly metastatic with few or no curative treatments in advanced stages.