CHICAGO, September 6, 2023 ( – The American Cancer Society estimates there will be over 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed, making it one of the most diagnosed cancers in the United States.  Over 52,000 Americans will die from the disease this year. Colorectal cancer can be successfully treated when caught early.  Yet, advanced cases, especially where the cancer has spread are much more likely to be fatal.

The GI Research Foundation’s CA CURE initiative was launched to advance immunotherapies, a new type of treatment that harnesses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.  While immunotherapies have not proven very effective yet in the fight against colorectal cancer, new research being funded by this initiative may be reversing that tide.

One of our funded researchers, Dr. Pashtoon Kasi, is leading the way.  His recent work (not funded by this initiative) published in the journal Oncogene found that in a small-scale study, patients treated with an experimental immunotherapy prior to having their tumors surgically removed saw about 80% to 90% of the cancer cells killed in such a way that they are less likely to return.

Using the Orion multiplex imaging platform from RareCyte, which was funded as part of the CA CURE Initiative, this research demonstrated improved methods to help predict patient outcomes and to track the efficacy of this novel therapy designed to shrink tumors ahead of resection. In the exciting, growing field of Spatial Biology, the Orion platform has emerged as the platform of choice across biomarker discovery, translational, and clinical research.


About the GI Research Foundation

In 1961, the GI Research Foundation was founded by grateful patients and friends of the late Dr. Joseph B. Kirsner, a pioneer in gastroenterology, who devoted his life to medicine, teaching, and patient care. Since then, in partnership with the University of Chicago Medicine Digestive Diseases Center and with gifts from generous donors, the Foundation has given millions to support research to improve treatments for digestive diseases and discover prevention pathways and cures.

CA CURE, a donor-driven initiative, quickly delivers critical research dollars to groundbreaking research focused on immunotherapy and personalized vaccines for digestive cancers.

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About RareCyte, Inc.

RareCyte is an innovative precision biology company that develops technologies and end-to-end integrated platforms enabling advances in oncology, immuno-oncology, maternal-fetal health, and cell and gene therapy. As a leading biotechnology company, our team of scientists and engineers is continuously dedicated to designing products and providing services that advance precision medicine and biomedical research, ensure successful clinical development programs, and contribute to companion diagnostic development.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

For more information about RareCyte, visit

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For more information see these source materials:

Recent Nature publications highlight the groundbreaking performance of RareCyte’s Orion Spatial Biology platform | RareCyte

New Drug Combo Shows Results Against Earlier-Stage Colorectal Cancer (