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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.
EIF’s NCCRA funding has resulted in several scientific breakthroughs. These discovers have occured at uprecedented speed.
EIF-funded colon cancer research has contributed to the development of a DNA-based stool test to detect not only colon cancer itself, but also the gene mutation that can lead to the disease, and the identification of a gene that, in the future, can be specifically targeted for therapies. Leading medical journals described the test as a promising, non-invasive approach for detecting colorectal cancers, and the scientists who developed this test have specifically credited the support of NCCRA. In 2007, the American Cancer Society in collaboration with the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and the American College of Radiology issued new guidelines on tests for colorectal cancer screening. For the first time, a non-invasive DNA-based stool test was included in the guidelines.
EIF’s NCCRA researchers have begun to unravel the genetic clues to the origins of colon cancer. These genes may one day be targeted to prevent and treat the disease. In results published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, EIF’s NCCRA and co-founder Katie Couric are credited with helping fast-track this important discovery. Couric’s national appeal helped fill the clinical trial in less than 60 days – two years sooner than expected.
NCCRA researchers were key members of a team that undertook an exhaustive genome sequencing process, identifying more than 50 genes that appear to be linked to colorectal cancer. Focusing on specific mutations in this group of genes, most of which were not previously known to play a role in cancer, the findings will enable scientists to investigate further the genetic changes that lead to cancer, and could aid in the development of new diagnostic systems and more individualized therapies for patients.
Learn more about the scientists and researches who make up EIF's NCCRA Medical Advisory Board.