The Colorectal Cancer Alliance, a national nonprofit, has awarded a $125,000 grant to study a possible link between colon microbiota and colorectal cancer, according to a press release.
Benjamin Weinberg, MD, of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues will spend two years researching the differences between the colon microbiota of younger and older patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) and investigating why CRC rates have increased more than 50% in people aged between 20 and 49 years over the last 24 years.
“A leading theory for why rates of [CRC] are increasing in younger patients relates to lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise,” Weinberg said in the press release. “Also, increasing evidence shows that bacteria and local inflammation of the colon can drive cancer growth.”
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s Chris4Life program has awarded the grant since its establishment in 2010 to fund research in young-onset CRC. To date, the program has awarded more than $1 million to research studies, according to the press release.
The Chris4Life Program’s scientific review panel selected Weinberg’s research as the first peer-reviewed award for the program.
“Dr. Weinberg’s proposed research is novel, innovative and highly interesting, and he will be well supported by the team at Georgetown Lombardi Ruesch Center for the Cure for Gastrointestinal Cancers,” Christopher Lieu, MD, co-chair of the Chris4Life Research Program’s scientific review panel, said in the press release. “We look forward to results that will yield advances in the field of young-onset [CRC] research.”
Disclosures: Lieu is a volunteer member of the Chris4Life Program's research review committee. Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease was unable to determine Weinberg’s relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.
Editor’s note: This item has been updated to reflect Lieu’s correct disclosures.