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 2020

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. 


This SU2C Colorectal Cancer Dream Team is focusing on three areas of research that have the potential to impact the treatment of all stages of colorectal cancer.

The first two areas of research examine the potential of immunotherapy and targeted therapy to revolutionize the treatment of colorectal cancer. The team will determine the mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapies and targeted therapies, and devise new strategies to overcome resistance.

The third area of study evaluates strategies to target different colorectal cancer subtypes. Specifically, 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 doses of vitamin C combined with depletion of a nutrient called glutamine.

In animal studies, drugs developed to target these vulnerabilities were able to slow down or cure colorectal cancers of the two subgroups. This team is evaluating whether these promising findings can be transposed to patients with similar genomic abnormalities.


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

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

William N. Haining, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Principal Investigator

Erika Brown
Paltown Foundation/One Cancer Place

Anjee Davis
Fight Colorectal Cancer

Joanna Fuchs
Yale University

Manju George
PALTOWN Development Foundation

Ivelisse Page
Believe Big, Inc.

Martha Raymond
Michael’s Mission

Nancy Roach
Fight Colorectal Cancer

Steve Schwaze
PALTOWN Development Foundation

Vanessa Whiting
A.E.S. Management Group

Ronit Yarden
Colorectal Cancer Alliance

Michelle Lamendola-Essel, DrHSc, MS
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.



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.
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.
Liquid biopsy versus tumor biopsy for clinical-trial recruitment.
Corcoran RB.
Nat Med. 2020 Dec; 26(12): 1815-1816.
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.

At, you’ll find information and answers to common questions about clinical trials. Learn more and talk to your doctor to see if a clinical trial may be the best choice for you.

You can also connect with EmergingMed, a free and confidential clinical trial matching that provides access to a vast database to help you identify the clinical trials that might be right for you or your loved one.



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