Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D.

Prevention for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

Research Area: Cancer Prevention

Portrait of Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D.
Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D.
Prevention for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

A physician-scientist and a medical oncologist by training, Eduardo Vilar-Sanchez, M.D., Ph.D., devotes his clinical expertise and practice to the care of patients and families diagnosed with hereditary cancer syndromes of the gastrointestinal tract: Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis. People with hereditary cancer syndromes are at extremely high risk of developing cancers; those with Lynch syndrome can develop cancers in several organs.

Dr. Vilar-Sanchez and his research team are contributing to the understanding of colorectal cancer carcinogenesis at the molecular level. Recently they looked at how the anti-inflammatory pain medicine naproxen works compared to aspirin in people with Lynch Syndrome. They found that in addition to reducing inflammation, naproxen had an impact on the immune response in the colon.

Dr. Vilar-Sanchez is leveraging this information to develop novel cancer interception strategies especially for high-risk cancer predisposition to genetic conditions. The Vilar-Sanchez research group contributed to the characterization of the genomic and transcriptomic landscape of colorectal premalignancy by utilizing next-generation sequencing and systems biology tools, which has allowed them to identify new genes cooperating in colorectal carcinogenesis (e.g., CNOT3). The group has also identified novel drug targets for clinical trials implementation, such as naproxen and unique frameshift neoantigens for prophylactic vaccines for Lynch syndrome.

In addition, the Vilar-Sanchez group has participated in the development of ex vivo models to better recapitulate the biology of the uninvolved adjacent mucosa and premalignancy. Dr. Vilar-Sanchez is now developing several cancer prevention and immuno-interception strategies for individuals with high risk of cancer.

To learn more about Dr. Vilar-Sanchez, see his biography at MD Anderson Cancer Center.