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Key Finding Published in Cell on ILC3s and Protection Against Colorectal Cancer

In a collaborative study led by researchers from the WDOM’S Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, it has been found that an immune cell subset called innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) play a role in protecting against colorectal cancer.

Dr. Gregory Sonnenberg, senior author, Dr. Jeremy Goc, lead author, and the study’s co-author, Dr. Manish Shah, have discovered that ILC3s (which reside in the intestines) protect against colorectal cancer, in part, by helping to maintain a healthy dialogue between the immune system and gut microbes. Published in Cell (August 17, 2021), this critical finding is expected to open the door to new strategies for treating colorectal cancer.

Dr. Gregory Sonnenberg is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and a member of the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Jeremy Goc is a Research Associate in Dr. Sonnenberg’s laboratory. Dr. Manish Shah is the Bartlett Family Professor of Gastrointestinal Oncology and Director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program for the WDOM’s Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and a member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, as well as the Chief of the Solid Tumor Oncology Service and co-Director of the Center for Advanced Digestive Care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States.

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Artistic rendering of a tumor growing within a colon, resulting in local alterations of resident microbiota

Artistic rendering of a tumor growing within a colon, resulting in local alterations of resident microbiota. Artist/Image Source: Sarah Field Sonnenberg