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EIF’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) is dedicated to the eradication of colorectal cancer by promoting the importance of early medical screening and funding research to develop better tests, treatments, and ultimately a cure. The initiative was co-founded in March of 2000 by Katie Couric, Lilly Tartikoff, and EIF. Click here to make a donation.
Research supported by Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance appeared on April 21, 2014 online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reporting on new genetic evidence that could strengthen the link between the role of dietary fats with colon cancer progression, and on April 23, 2014 online in the journal Science Translational Medicine finding that aspirin can help lower your risk of colorectal cancer if you have a certain gene.
In the study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Arizona State University researchers identified a molecular culprit, called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPAR delta), which stopped key steps required for the initiation and progression of tumor growth in mouse model studies. This study demonstrates a new function for the, PPAR delta molecule in the initiation and progression of colon cancer. These results provide a new rationale for developing therapeutics that could block PPAR delta to treat inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.
The findings presented in the online journal Science Translational Medicine, on the correlation between aspirin and colorectal cancer, are part of an ongoing investigation. Researchers from NCCRA-funded Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center as well as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital had previously found that regular use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, reduces the chances of developing colon cancer for some people. This latest research investigated which people will benefit from taking aspirin on a regular basis to significantly reduce their chance of developing colorectal cancer. The study, which examined data from nearly 128,000 participants, found people with higher-than-average levels of the gene 15-PGDH in their colon cut their chances of developing colorectal cancer in half by taking aspirin. The study also found that people with lower-than-average levels of the gene in their colon got no benefit from taking aspirin. For the first time physicians have the data to be able to tell if their patients at risk of developing colorectal cancer will or will not benefit from taking aspirin. For any patient undergoing a routine colonoscopy, it is not difficult for their doctor to add a biopsy to make this determination. While a commercial test hasn’t been developed yet, a hospital research lab can easily test tissue samples, with results taking a couple of days.