A new approach to treating inflammatory bowel disease ('colitis') and preventing colon cancer.

Raised of $3,750 Goal
Ended on 4/29/14
Campaign Ended
  • $115
  • 4%
  • Finished
    on 4/29/14

About This Project

60,000 people die of colon cancer yearly in North America. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (‘Crohn’s’ and ‘Colitis’) drive colon cancer, and treatment is limited. We’ve shown anti-inflammatory agents can treat colitis and prevent colon cancer but don’t know which one is best. To answer this, we have to carry out a controlled mouse study. Results will lead to clinical trials, improve quality and save the lives of over 25 million people world-wide.

Ask the Scientists

Join The Discussion

What is the context of this research?

The 10’s of millions of people
with inflammatory bowel disease (AKA ‘colitis’: e.g. ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) have a high colon cancer risk. Current treatment strategies are often toxic, with bad side-effects, so often people don’t like to use them, and are looking for alternative ways to treat this terrible disease.

Over the past decade, my lab has had pretty amazing results using complementary and alternative medicines, as well as novel drugs to treat colitis and prevent colon cancer in mice. For example, giving mice American Ginseng reverses the damaged colon caused by colitis to a normal looking colon. We can also prevent colon cancer in these mice taking American Ginseng. We have carried out similar experiments with Resveratrol, Ginkgo Biloba, and small molecules with similarly amazing results. Importantly, we have published all of our results in peer-reviewed impact journals including Carcinogenesis, Cancer Prevention Research, Cancer Research, Journal of Nutrition, American Journal of Physiology, Plos One, etc.

At this point, we need a relatively small amount of money to carry out experiments to compare all of our treatments in one, well controlled animal study. Once experiments are complete, and results examined in full, we will be at the point of picking the best, non-toxic treatment strategy (e.g. if American Ginseng works best, we will use this), and move to double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials. In the end, we anticipate that we will find the best, safest mode yet to date of suppressing this terrible disease (colitis), preventing colon cancer, and improving the quality, and saving the lives of over 25 million people world-wide.

What is the significance of this project?

Currently, approved treatment strategies for colitis (and prevention of colon cancer) have modest results, and there are serious, toxic side-effects, such as sepsis, cancer, and death. There is a clear need for less toxic, more powerful ways of treating this disease.

The use of complementary and alternative medicines (‘CAMs’) is one such natural way to do this. We have had amazing results with several CAMs (e.g. American Ginseng, Ginkgo Bilioba, Resveratrol) in mice, but have yet to carry out experiments in one well-controlled study to compare all of our products. We will be able to do this through funding here. Results will lead to clinical trials as a final step to improving the quality of life, and saving the lives of millions upon millions of people world-wide.

What are the goals of the project?

  1. Feed mice with colitis American Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, Resveratrol, Cl-amidine, and Quinacrine; and compare these to current FDA-approved drugs (5-ASA and Olsalazine).
  2. Quantify the level of colitis in each of the groups of mice.
  3. Quantify the level of colon cancer in each of the groups of mice.
  4. Publish results in a peer-reviewed, high quality journal.
  5. Disseminate results to all that contribute to this project.


Please wait...

Original goal: $3750 Total. Will be used to pay for mice, supplies, and core facilities needed to carry out this study. If our original goal is met, we will aim for our Stretch Goal of $5000 Total. If this is met, we will be able to examine other endpoints, such as the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood, and use additional antibodies to more fully examine inflammation.

Meet the Team

Lorne Hofseth
Lorne Hofseth

Team Bio

1996 Simon Fraser U., Canada, Doctor of Philosophy, 1996

2004-2010 Asst. Prof., S. Carolina College of Pharmacy, U. of S. Carolina
2010-present Assoc. Prof., S. Carolina College of Pharmacy, U. of S. Carolina
2012-present Grad. Director, S. Carolina College of Pharmacy, U. of S. Carolina

Research Interests
Chronic inflammation is dangerous to human health and drives many diseases, including cancer. Current treatment strategies are limited, and have side-effects. Our lab studies the interaction between chronic inflammation and cancer. Specifically, we have been studying the ability of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs or nutraceuticals) to reduce inflammation. CAMs (e.g. Ginkgo Biloba, Resveratrol, and American Ginseng) prevent and treat mouse colitis. Our research will have far-reaching health implications on millions of people suffering from colitis and colon cancer.

Lab Notes

Nothing posted yet.

Additional Information

In addition to being a scientist, I enjoy spending as much time with my family as possible. Watching my 3 girls in competitive gymnastics is a big part of my life at the moment. I enjoy gardening, traveling, fishing.

This is a novel mechanism to support scientific research from real people interested in supporting real research; spawned by the increasing lack of funding from government and industry. To this end, if funded, I will make every effort to acknowledge all pledges in communications (e.g. publications) from this funding. I will also keep all updated on progress of the research, from getting the animals to my lab, to feeding them the nutraceutical, to examining results.. and conclusions made from these results.

The following are links to some relevant publications from my lab: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC37940... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC35385... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC37940... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC28537... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC37940... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC26392... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC37940...

Project Backers

  • 2Backers
  • 4%Funded
  • $115Total Donations
  • $57.50Average Donation
Please wait...