Robert Jenq, M.D.
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
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|Grant ID: RR160089|
Recruitment of Rising Stars
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
September 14, 2016
Patients with blood cancers like leukemia can often be cured with a stem cell transplant from a donor. But up to 50% of patients who are cured of cancer with this type of transplant suffer when the donor immune system attacks the patient’s own organs. Most cases of this graft-vs.-host disease are successfully treated with steroid medications, but other patients suffer from pain, rashes, and bloody diarrhea, and sometimes die from infections.
Now a physician scientist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is studying how graft-vs.-host disease can be prevented by paying attention to a less-widely-known modulator of the immune system: the gut microbiome.
Dr. Robert Jenq, M.D., was recruited to MD Anderson from Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York, with the help of a Recruitment of Rising Stars Award from CPRIT.
In his role as a bone marrow transplant oncologist, Dr. Jenq became concerned about patients who suffered from graft-vs.-host disease after successfully beating cancer. He found that the patients who fared worst had been treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic during the transplant process.