Dec 19, 2016 8:00 AM


SALT LAKE CITY – Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah will head an international study to find out how lifestyle and other health factors impact colon and rectal cancer outcomes. HCI was awarded an $8.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead and expand an ongoing project in colon cancer research.

The study, called ColoCare, seeks to identify elements that play a role in the survival and recovery of colorectal cancer patients. The study will evaluate blood, saliva, and tissue samples collected during surgery, from men and women with colorectal cancer. In addition, study participants will fill out questionnaires about their lifestyle habits, including diet and exercise.

Researchers will then analyze whether health and lifestyle factors could help predict which patients improve and which do not. The data could also determine if certain patients might avoid treatments that are not as effective for their particular cancer. The information gathered is expected to help improve the clinical care and well-being of colorectal cancer patients.

Neli Ulrich, PhD, Senior Director of Population Sciences at Huntsman Cancer Institute, will coordinate the study in collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany, Cedars Mt. Sinai in Los Angeles, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

The group of institutions working on the project has expanded, which will enable geographic and ethnic diversity, increasing the number of Hispanic and African-American participants. In the first phase, more than 1,400 study participants were recruited to ColoCare. With this grant money, HCI and its collaborators will raise that number to more than 4,000. Nearly 500 patients will come from Utah.

“This study represents a new paradigm in working together as a team to conquer colorectal cancer,” says Ulrich. “ColoCare will provide valuable information on how lifestyle factors impact cancer outcomes. We hope to use what we learn from this study to empower people who are affected by the disease with information about how they can manage their health.”

Colorectal cancer will affect one in 21 individuals over the course of their lifetime and is a leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

The ColoCare study is funded by the National Cancer Institute U01 CA206110, with additional support from National Cancer Institute P30 CA042014, R01 189184, and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

 

Media Contact

Ashlee Bright
Public Relations – Huntsman Cancer Institute
public.affairs@hci.utah.edu
801-585-1954

Cancer Center Research Program Cancer Control and Population Sciences

About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah. The cancer campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital as well as two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and is recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, HCI serves the largest geographic region in the country, drawing patients from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center in the world, including genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head, and neck cancers, along with melanoma. HCI manages the Utah Population Database, the largest genetic database in the world, with information on more than 11 million people linked to genealogies, health records, and vital statistics. HCI was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

Cancer touches all of us.

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