Colorectal Cancer Vulnerabilities Dream Team - Stand Up To Cancer

Dream Teams

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SU2C Colorectal Cancer Dream Team:
Targeting Genomic, Metabolic, and Immunological
Vulnerabilities of Colorectal Cancer

Grant Term: July 2017–June 2023

The Stand Up To Cancer Colorectal Cancer Treatment Dream Team is taking a broad-spectrum approach by addressing three complementary areas of research that have the potential to impact all stages of the disease. The first two areas of research are on the potential impact of immunotherapy and targeted therapy, and the last area of study will evaluate strategies to target different colorectal cancer subtypes.


The Dream Team will focus on three areas of research that have the potential to impact all stages of colorectal cancer. The emphasis of the first two areas of research is on the potential of immunotherapy and targeted therapy to revolutionize the treatment of colorectal cancer, while the last area of study will evaluate strategies to target different colorectal cancer subtypes specifically.

Genomic abnormalities can be used to define distinct subgroups of cancer. Two major subgroups of colorectal cancer—those with a mutation in the KRAS/BRAF gene, and those with a mutation in the PIK3CA gene—are susceptible to high dose of vitamin C combined with depletion of a nutrient called glutamine. Drugs developed to target these vulnerabilities were efficient to slow down or cure colorectal cancers of the two subgroups in animal studies. This Team will evaluate if these promising findings can be transposed to patients with similar genomic abnormalities. The Team will also work to determine the mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapies and targeted therapies and devise new strategies to overcome the resistance.


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C Colorectal Cancer Dream Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C Colorectal Cancer Dream Team.

Dream Team Members

Luis A. Diaz Jr., MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Lewis C. Cantley, PhD
Weill Cornell Medical College

Charles S. Fuchs, MD
Yale University School of Medicine

Zhenghe Wang, PhD
Case Western Reserve University

Nilofer S. Azad, MD
Johns Hopkins University
Principal Investigator

Ryan B. Corcoran, MD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Principal Investigator

Erika Brown
PALTOWN Development Foundation

Anjee Davis
Fight Colorectal Cancer

Joanna Fuchs
Yale University

Manju George
PALTOWN Development Foundation

Ivelisse Page
Believe Big, Inc.

Martha Raymond
The Raymond Foundation

Nancy Roach
Fight Colorectal Cancer

Michael Sapienza
Colorectal Cancer Alliance

Steve Schwarze
PALTOWN Development Foundation

Vanessa Whiting
A.E.S. Management Group

Kathryn Winne

Ronit Yarden
Colorectal Cancer Alliance

Michelle Lamendola-Essel, DrHSc
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Project Manager

“Through a combination of new avenues in immunotherapy, targeted therapeutics, metabolomics, and precision prevention, we believe we can find new ways to fight colorectal cancer and bring new hope to patients.”

Luis A. Diaz, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click on the link to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C Colorectal Cancer Dream Team.



Liquid biopsy versus tumor biopsy for clinical-trial recruitment.
Corcoran RB
Nat Med. 2020 Dec; 26(12): 1815-1816. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-01169-6.
Yogurt consumption and risk of conventional and serrated precursors of colorectal cancer.
Zheng X, Wu K, Song M, et al.
Gut. 2020 May; 69(5): 970-972. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-318374.
Pembrolizumab in microsatellite-instability-high advanced colorectal cancer.
Andre T, Shiu K-K, Kim TW, et al.
N Engl. J Med. 2020 Dec 3; 383(23): 2207-2218. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2017699.
Genetic Mechanisms of Immune Evasion in Colorectal Cancer
Broutier, L. et al. (2018)
Cancer Discovery (6):730-749.
Combined BRAF, EGFR, and MEK Inhibition in Patients with BRAFV600E-Mutant Colorectal Cancer
Corcoran RB, Rangwala F, Van Cutsem E, et al. (2018)
Cancer Discovery 8:428-443.
Inherited DNA-Repair Defects in Colorectal Cancer.
AlDubayan SH, Fuchs CS, Van Allen EM, et al. (2018)
American Journal of Human Genetics 102(3):401-414.
Combined BRAF, EGFR, and MEK Inhibition in Patients with BRAFV600E-Mutant Colorectal Cancer
Corcoran RB, André T, Atreya CE, et al (2018)
Cancer Discov. 8(4):428-443.
Genetic Mechanisms of Immune Evasion in Colorectal Cancer
Grasso CS, Giannakis M, Wells DK, et al (2018)
Cancer Discov. 8(6):730-749.
Genomic Landscape of Cell-Free DNA in Patients with Colorectal Cancer
Strickler JH, Loree JM, Ahronian LG, et al (2018)
Cancer Discov. 8(2):164-173.
Analysis of Fusobacterium Persistence and Antibiotic Response in Colorectal Cancer
Bullman S, Pedamallu CS, Sicinska E, et al (2017)
Science. 358(6369):1443-1448.
Clinical Sequencing Defines the Genomic Landscape of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Yaeger R, Chatila WK, Lipsyc MD, et al (2018)
Cancer Cell. 33(1):125-136.e3.
Optimized Base Editors Enable Efficient Editing in Cells, Organoids and Mice
Zafra MP, Schatoff EM, Katti A, et al (2018)
Nat Biotechnol. 36(9):888-893.
Microsatellite Instability Is Associated With the Presence of Lynch Syndrome Pan-Cancer
Latham A, Srinivasan P, Kemel Y, et al (2019)
J Clin Oncol. 37(4):286-295.
Managing Clonal Hematopoiesis in Patients With Solid Tumors
Bolton KL, Gillis NK, Coombs CC, et al (2019)
J Clin Oncol. 37(1):7-11.
A Machine Learning Approach for Somatic Mutation Discovery
Wood DE, White JR, Georgiadis A, et al (2018)
Sci Transl Med. 10(457). pii: eaar7939.
See MoreLess Publications


Cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments. The goal is to find treatments that are better than what’s currently available, in fact the therapies offered to today’s cancer patients were almost all studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. But many cancer clinical trials don’t get completed because not enough people participate.

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