Research Projects

We have created this section of our web site to inform our members of the status of Grants the Foundation is currently supporting with the grants we have issued this year.  ECEF has established a Research Subcommittee of the Medical Advisory Committee to give us guidance in determining what Research Projects ECEF will support in the future.

We have awarded a Grant, in January 2021, of $75,000.00 to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for the following research projects.

Project -1: Preclinical validation and clinical trial preparation for CAR T-cell therapy for esophageal cancer (EC)
Description: Our laboratory has developed, translated, and conducted phase I and II CAR T-cell clinical trials for mesothelioma, lung cancer and triple-negative breast cancers. The cancer cell surface antigen targeted by these CARs is mesothelin. We have analyzed 300 ECs for mesothelin expression (ECEF supported, published) and further conducted a prospective clinical trial characterizing mesothelin expression in the tumor, normal tissue and serum (supported by ECEF). With this data, we now are well structured to translate CARs to treat EC patients. The funding support will be used to investigate regional intraperitoneal delivery versus systemic delivery of CAR T cells in a peritoneal EC model with a goal to develop IND data required for clinical trial development.

Project -2: Esophageal cancer tumor immune microenvironment in patient receiving immunotherapy in a clinical trial.
Description: We have collected pre- and post- (resected tumor and lymph nodes) samples from EC patients who underwent chemotherapy and immunotherapy in a clinical trial. Our goal is to compare the immune microenvironment in the resected tumors and lymph nodes of patients with and without response in the clinical trial. The knowledge obtained will be incredibly useful to translate the next steps in immune- and chemoimmunotherapy for EC.

Including the $75,000 we gave as a grant to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in January 2021, our total research project support is at $951,800.