I am a physician-scientist and a medical oncologist by training. My clinical expertise and practice is devoted to the care of patients and families diagnosed with syndromes that predispose to the development of colorectal cancers. My long-term goal is to understand and characterize colorectal carcinogenesis at the earliest stages by focusing in the transformation of the normal epithelium into pre-cancerous lesions, and then leverage this information to develop novel cancer interception strategies into early phase clinical trials. In order to accomplish this overarching goal, my research group has contributed to the characterization of the genomic, transcriptomic, and immunology landscape of colorectal precancers using an orthogonal approach based on next-generation sequencing coupled with systems biology tools, which has allowed us to identify new genes cooperating in APC-driven carcinogenesis (e.g. CNOT3), describe the immune profile and neoantigen landscape of premalignancy that develops in a mismatch repair-deficient background, identify novel biomarkers that predict immune activation after chemoprevention with Naproxen, and novel targets for vaccine development. In addition, we have played an active role in the development of ex vivo models to better recapitulate the biology of the juxtalesional normal colonic mucosa and premalignancy. Finally, I have several designed investigator-initiated clinical trials in Lynch Syndrome and Familial Adenomatous Polyposis that have been funded by the National Cancer Institute through the Division of Cancer Prevention Chemoprevention Consortium for early drug development in prevention and has implemented a large prospective bio-repository from patients diagnosed with hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes.
Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, MD, PhD