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Make CRC Research a Priority at the Department of Defense

Our Priority:

Increase game-changing colorectal cancer research by providing $20 million to create a Colorectal Cancer Research Program within the Department of Defense.

Why This is Important:

  • Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death for men & women combined & it is increasing in young people. It is now the leading cause of cancer death in men under age 50 and the second in women.
  • CRC is the only cancer of the top 5 cancer killers not to have its own program. 
  • We don’t know why this is happening. We need more research to determine the cause.   
  • We are leaving good science on the table. In FY22, the DoD received 66 colorectal cancer applications. Of those, 25 were deemed “meritorious”, but only 9 applications were funded.

What We Are Doing:

Asking that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees include in their FY24 Defense appropriations bills $20 million to create a Colorectal Cancer Research Program within the Department of Defense.

Take Action:

a message from University of Missouri Health, Jorge Gomez-Gutierrez, PhD

Background:

The Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) was created in the early 90s to “foster novel approaches to biomedical research” and “fill research gaps by funding high impact, high risk and high gain projects that other agencies may not venture to fund”. It was designed as a compliment, not a competitor to the National Institutes of Health. The CDMRP includes over 30 different disease-specific research programs including different types of cancers, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain jury and more. For more than 10 years, colorectal cancer has been eligible for funding through the Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), competing against over a dozen other cancers for funding, without a strategic plan to guide investment.

If it weren’t for the efforts of Fight CRC Founder, Nancy Roach and her fellow advocates, colorectal cancer wouldn’t be eligible for funding through DoD’s Peer-Reviewed Cancer Research Program. It’s a great example of the critical importance of patients having a voice at the table where research decisions are being made. Without that work, the colorectal cancer community would have missed out on millions of dollars in research funding exploring important issues such as whether environmental chemicals are associated with increased risk of CRC and whether drugs for other conditions can be used to treat CRC. It’s critical that we continue to fight for this funding to maintain the progress we’ve made.

Dr. Gail Eckhardt, Chair, Department of Oncology, Dell Medical School, The University of Texas as Austin, CPRIT Scholar, Professor and Associate Dean of Cancer Programs, Director LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes