On Tuesday, March 16 C3 Advocates who attended the 4th annual conference and lobby day had the opportunity to hear from experts in colorectal cancer research and federal agencies about CRC research and cancer control efforts.
Dr. Jeffery Chou is a medical oncology fellow in the Program in Immunology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Early in his research career as an undergraduate student, he studied the use of radiolabeled anti-CEA antibodies as therapy for colorectal cancer at the City of Hope which fostered in him an interest for colorectal cancer immunotherapy. He joined the lab of Dr. Edus H. Warren at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to study the immunobiology of colorectal cancer and develop adoptive T cell therapy against colorectal cancer. His project “Epigenetic modulation of colorectal cancer stem cells for immunotherapy” is sponsored by the 2009 AACR/C3 Colorectal Cancer Coalition fellows grant in memory of Lisa Dubow and provides pre-clinical evidence supporting the combination of the epigenetic drug decitabine and T cell therapy against the cancer-testis antigen NY-ESO-1 to treat colorectal cancer. He has also received awards from ASCO and the Cancer Research Institute to support his work.
Dr. Chou spoke to C3 Advocates about the research he has been doing into treatments for late stage colorectal cancer using funding he received from the C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition’s Lisa Fund Grant.
Laura Seeff, M.D., is the acting branch chief for the Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch in the Division of Cancer Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to taking on this position in October 2009, she was CDC’s associate director for Colorectal Cancer Programs and the medical director of the agency’s new Colorectal Cancer Control Program.
Dr. Seeff provided an overview of the successful CDC colorectal screening program. The program began as a pilot program in 5 sites, and has been expanded to 26 sites. It is the model for legislation (H.R. 1189) introduced by Representative Kay Granger (R-TX) which would put in place a national screening and treatment program for colorectal cancer similar to what we currently have in place for breast and cervical cancer. According to conservative estimates, the legislation would save thousands of lives a year and save Medicare billions.
Dr. Donna Kimbark joined the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs in 2002 as Grants Manager for the Breast Cancer Research Program. In 2008, Dr Kimbark became the Program Manager for the new Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program. Her areas of expertise include cancer therapeutics, pharmacology, proteomics, and lay participation in the scientific processes.