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The Center for Mucosal Inflammation and Cancer (CMIC) endeavors to position Vanderbilt as the leader in the areas of inflammation and cancer. The CMIC exists to expand the research on the inflammation to cancer sequence, thereby functioning as the central hub for investigators interested in this sequence.
Many cancers have their root in chronic inflammation, and this is especially noted in the GI tract. The benchmark for this association is the Helicobacter pylori-induced cascade from gastritis to intestinal metaplasia to dysplasia to carcinoma. Other examples where inflammation is directly implicated in carcinogenesis include esophageal carcinoma, colitis-associated carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and pancreatic cancer. With the explosion of new insights related to the microbiome and the metabolome, we are at a crossroads. With expertise in microbiology, immunology, inflammation, and carcinogenesis, pertaining to Helicobacter pylori-induced immune dysregulation and gastric cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other forms of mucosal inflammation, the CMIC strives to seek a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between inflammation and cancer.