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Smoking continues to be a leading cause of cancer. Investigators in the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Program focus their attention on cancers most directly linked to tobacco use, including lung, head and neck, and esophageal cancers. The last five years has seen great progress in laboratory research and marked increase in clinical research with the development of new therapeutic strategies. Our scientists have made important advances in deciphering the role of epigenetics in altering gene expression and identified gene pathways involved in the growth and progression of these cancers. Investigators continue to be focused on identifying environmental risk factors, molecular changes that initiate cancers in the upper aerodigestive tract, and developing new strategies to prevent and treat these cancers. Program Leaders are Charles Rudin, M.D., Ph.D., and David Sidransky, M.D.
SPORE stands for Specialized Program of Research Excellence and the funds are one of the most sought-after by researchers nationwide because they focus on turning research into results – linking basic science discoveries with new tests and therapies that help patients. Our SPORE will speed research on new treatments for head and neck cancers.