Fight Colorectal Cancer Launches its Plan to Find a Cure


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National advocacy organization spearheads initiative that has begun conversations amongst leading scientists, researchers, and advocates who are ready to commit to innovation, push for increased funding, and demand more be done toward finding a cure for colorectal cancer.

Today, Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), the nation's leading patient advocacy organization,  revealed its Path to a Cure Report for colorectal cancer (CRC). Path to a Cure is designed to push the science forward for CRC and strengthen advocacy efforts. Out of the initiative has come the Path to a Cure Report, a plan that summarizes and communicates the way forward for the CRC community—a community that has seen very few treatment breakthroughs in the past decade and is anticipating colorectal cancer to become the No. 1 cancer killer amongst 20-49 year olds in the next eight years. 

While the rest of the world has been fighting a pandemic, Fight CRC has been developing a plan that ensures patients’ real needs stay at the core part of research efforts. The Path to a Cure Report revolves around pushing forward critical areas of research; care for patients; and policy, from prevention to survivorship. 

“As a community, there is tremendous potential when we coordinate our efforts toward common goals,” said Dr. Scott Kopetz, research and medical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. “This project brings together many of the thought leaders in the colorectal cancer community who are passionate about accelerating research and improving outcomes for colorectal cancer patients. Together, we can tackle big ideas with ambitious and meaningful impact!” 

As a catalyst for change, Fight CRC invested two major gifts from former board members Steve Depp and Dina M. Golas. Their legacy gifts enabled Fight CRC to host the first annual Path to a Cure Think Tank in Springfield, Mo. on Dec. 3, 2021.  Thought leaders from across the country were convened to discuss what groundbreaking research can be advanced. 

Together, working hand in hand across industry, academia, advocacy, public health, government agencies, and with patients, the Path to a Cure Report will drive and unify stakeholders to ask important questions, prioritize, and expand scientific efforts.

“We want to take this plan to Capitol Hill and show members of Congress that this is what we will do with the funds they allocated for colorectal cancer research,” said Molly McDonnell, Director of Advocacy at Fight Colorectal Cancer. “We want to show them we developed a plan, we brought together the brightest minds, and here’s why we need the money.” 

Participants in the Path to a Cure Think Tank and Report: 

Alex Aleshin, MD, MBA - Natera
Al Benson, MD - Northwestern University
Jordan Berlin, MD - Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Frank Berger, PhD - University of South Carolina
Durado Brooks, MD, MPH - Exact Sciences
Timothy Cannon - Inova Medical Group
Yin Cao, ScD, MPH - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Andrea Cercek, MD - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
George Chang, MD, MS, FACS, FASCRS, FSSO - MD Anderson Cancer Center
Jeff Crowley - O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law
Cathy Eng, MD, FACP, FASCO - Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Dustin Deming, MD - University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
Ryan Fields, MD - Washington University in St. Louis
Mark Fleury, PhD - ACS Cancer Action Network
Ashley Glode, PharmD - University of Colorado
Richard Goldberg, MD - West Virginia University Cancer Institute
Samir Gupta, MD - University of California, San Diego
Heather Hampel, MS, LGC - Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Chris Heery, MD - Precision BioSciences
Rishi Jain, MD - Fox Chase Cancer Center
Wenora Johnson - Survivor Advocate
Sheetal Kircher, MD - Northwestern University
Jennifer Kolb, MD - VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System
Scott Kopetz, MD* - MD Anderson Cancer Center
Smitha Krishnamurthi, MD - Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Kathryn Lang, MBBS, MRCP - Guardant Health
Dung Le, MD - Johns Hopkins Medical Center
Chris Lieu, MD - University of Colorado Cancer Center
Fola May, MD, PhD - University of California, Los Angeles
Neal Meropol, MD - Flatiron Health
Noel de Miranda, PhD - Leiden University
Van Morris, MD - MD Anderson Cancer Center
Caitlin Murphy, PhD, MPH - University of Texas Southwestern
Heidi Nelson, MD - American College of Surgeons
Linda Overholser, MD, MPH - University of Colorado Cancer Center
Michael Overman, MD - MD Anderson Cancer Center
Swati Patel, MD - University of Colorado
José Perea, MD - Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital
Curt Pesmen - Survivor Advocate
Nicholas Petrelli, MD, FACS - ChristianaCare Health System
​​Lisa Richardson, MD - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Leonard Saltz, MD - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Nina Sanford, MD - UT Southwestern
Cynthia Sears, MD - Johns Hopkins University
Rebecca Seigel, MPH - American Cancer Society
Wendy Selig - Meeting Facilitator
Robert Smith, PhD - American Cancer Society
Peter Stanich, MD - Ohio State University
Scott Steele, MD, MBA - Cleveland Clinic
Joel E Tepper, MD - University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Erin Van Blarigan, ScD - University of California, San Francisco
Jennifer Weiss, MD, MS - University of Wisconsin
Karen Wheling - Survivor Advocate
Ann Zauber, PhD - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Organizations and individuals committed to finding a cure for colorectal cancer are encouraged to become strategic partners of the Path to a Cure Report. Strategic partners’ support will amplify the effort and showcase its importance, especially to policymakers who are making funding decisions. Read the full report and become a strategic partner at

Financial support from Amgen, Natera, and Guardant Health was provided to support the dissemination and marketing of the Path to a Cure Report.

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