Marc B. Bissonnette, M.D.


  • Associate Professor, Department of Medicine - Section of Gastroenterology, Cancer Research Center, Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition


M.D., The University of Chicago, 1975


The University of Chicago
KCBD 9112
900 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL  60637

Phone: (773) 795-0833

Website (Department of Medicine)


Nutrition as it Relates to Colonic Carcinogenesis

The research efforts of our laboratory are focused on three major themes: 1) Elucidation of the roles of the ErbB family of growth factor receptors in colonic tumorigenesis; 2) Investigations of chemopreventive agents in colon cancer; and 3) Studies of sporadic and ulcerative colitis-associated human colonic carcinogenesis. The first two areas involve chemical and genetic animal models of colon cancer induced by azoxymethane. In the AOM model we determined that EGFR plays important roles in tumor initiation and progression. We have also studied chemopreventive vitamin D analogues and protective bile acids in this model.  More recently, we have been studying the interaction of EGFR with diet.  We demonstrated that Western diets required EGFR signals for tumor promotion. This diet also increased TGF-α expression in normal colon, which we postulate is an important mechanism for diet-related increased EGFR signals in colonic tumorigenesis. We are currently investigating how Western diets up-regulate TGF-alpha.  The third area involves translating our animal model findings to the bedside. We are currently studying dysplastic aberrant crypt foci (ACF), the earliest detectable mucosal abnormalities in premalignancy and putative precursors of colon cancer. We are also investigating gene expression changes in the colonic mucosa of patients with chronic ulcerative colitis (UC) who are at increased risk for colon cancer. We have identified several novel genes in the colonic mucosa that are dysregulated in UC with dysplasia but not in UC without dysplasia.  These gene changes occurred in areas remote from dysplastic foci. We are studying their potential causal roles and utility as biomarkers of risk.

Research Papers in PubMed