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:

  • Currently colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women and the only top 5 cancer killer not to have it’s own research program within the DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP).
  • Colorectal cancer diagnoses are increasing in young people. Those born in 1990 - a key demographic for active duty military - have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer as those born in 1950.
  • We are leaving good science on the table. In FY20, the DoD received 60 colorectal cancer applications. Of those, 27 were deemed “highly meritorious”, but only 11 were funded.

What We Are Doing:

Asking that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees include in their FY23 Defense appropriations bills $20 million to create a Colorectal Cancer Research Program within the Department of Defense.

Take Action:

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 the past 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 more than $19 million 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