Welcome to the website of Dr. Robert Coffey's laboratory at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
One major focus of the lab's research deals with Ménétrier's disease, and a promising new medical treatment for this disease. Ménétrier's disease is a premalignant overgrowth state of the stomach which can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, swelling of the extremities (edema) and bleeding from the lining of the stomach.
For patients with refractory symptoms of Ménétrier's disease, or for those with concern about developing gastric cancer, the only available option has been surgical removal of part or all of the stomach (gastrectomy). The development of a new medical therapy may eliminate or reduce the need to perform surgery.
Dr. Coffey is a Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Coffey and his colleagues have been studying Ménétrier's disease for over ten years. Several years ago, in collaboration with Dr. Steve Burdick at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Coffey's group successfully treated a patient with refractory Ménétrier's disease with a drug called cetuximab (C225). This drug is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the receptor that appears to mediate the development of the disease. Cetuximab has been used extensively in patients with a variety of solid tumors with promising results.
Treatment with this drug resulted in a dramatic improvement in the condition of this patient. You can read about this work in The New England Journal of Medicine.
We have now expanded this work into an FDA-approved clinical trial, and treated additional patients with promising results. The trial is designed to treat patients with refractory symptoms from Ménétrier's disease for which simple treament of the symptoms has been inadequate. New patients are currently being enrolled into the clinical trial.
If you have been diagnosed with Ménétrier's disease and no treatment up to this point has been effective in alleviating your symptoms, you may qualify to participate in this trial. Please contact us to inquire about participation.
We hope that you find this site useful, regardless of whether or not you participate in the clinical trial. This site contains valuable information and resources for patients with Ménétrier's disease and also has a more in-depth section for patients and physicians wishing to learn more about this disease.