HEEF & Northwestern

Northwestern Hospital

Recognizing the imperative need for gastrointestinal cancer research, HEEF partnered with Dr. Al Benson and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University  in 2001 to establish the Harold E. Eisenberg Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Fund, dedicated to developing prevention and treatment strategies.

For over a decade, Dr. Al Benson and his colleagues have been the recipients of our support and their research covers the spectrum of GI cancers, from esophagus and stomach, to liver and colon.  Their investigations are focused on finding new, more effective treatments, sooner.

The Foundation’s partnership with Northwestern focuses on three main areas:

  • Cutting-edge Clinical Trials

    Projects currently funded by HEEF include trials of new and “targeted chemotherapy” regimens for stomach, pancreatic and liver cancers. These trials are investigating the benefits of new chemotherapy combinations and the administration of chemotherapy directly into afflicted sites. Many of these trials have already shown benefits and improved response rates for patients.

  • Lisa Stucky-Marshall (RN, MS, AOCN),

    Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Nurse Coordinator

    While facilities and equipment are necessary for all research projects, the greater success of any program depends up on its leader.  Lisa coordinates all ongoing trials, identifies potential patients, and coordinates all the required testing and patient follow-up care.  She is the “hub” of a network that conducts clinical research and increases the breadth of the GI cancer program.

  • GI Cancer Tissue Bank

    A paramount accomplishment of recent efforts is the establishment of the Midwest’s first Gastrointestinal Tumor Bank, which puts us at the forefront of prevention and treatment strategies. The Tissue Bank collects and stores tissue samples that provide researchers with the opportunity to improve their understanding of what characterizes certain types of cancer and improves their capacity to prevent, detect and treat them.  The progress made possible through the bank is making important contributions to the local academic research community, as well as to global efforts to improve cancer treatments.  To date, there are more than 7,000 samples in the tissue repository.

We are inspired by Dr. Benson and his team.  Their work has enhanced treatment and increased survival rates.  We are proud of our partners in the fight against GI cancers and empowered by the knowledge that we not only fund research; we fund results.

We are committed to finding a cure for gastrointestinal cancers.

We are committed to saving lives.