Rally on Research: Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer

On June 24 and 25, experts and patient advocates from around the world met virtually to share ideas and forge the path towards a cure for colorectal cancer.

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Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is no longer a disease that only affects older populations. Early-age onset CRC is colorectal cancer diagnosed in a patient younger than age 50, and commonly referred to as “EAO CRC.” These patients and survivors face issues specific to younger populations, such as sexual health and family planning, as well as impacts to their careers.

Rally on Research is an interactive two-day virtual event, inspired and co-hosted by Dr. José Perea of Madrid, Spain. The event is created for relentless champions to engage with other researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates to build a path toward a cure for early-age onset colorectal cancer (EAO CRC).  

Day 1: Patient Advocates

11AM – 3:30PM EST

Designed to amplify the patient voice, this was an opportunity for patients, caregivers, and clinicians to discuss efforts and challenges to improve patient care for the early-age onset community.

Opening Remarks from Fight CRC President, Anjee Davis
Patient and Caregiver Panel
Clinician Panel
Closing Remarks

Day 2: Research Priorities

11AM – 3:30PM EST

Day 2 was a global research discussion among scientists who want to work together to advance research to understand and treat early-age onset colorectal cancer. This day was designed to ensure researchers and healthcare providers have time to discuss research needs and bridge gaps from a scientific perspective.

Day 2 Welcome and Kickoff
EAO CRC Workgroup Project Showcase
CRC Screening Guidelines Panel
Treatment and Care Delivery Panel
Funder’s Corner
EAO CRC Disparities: Society Meets Biology
Closing Remarks

Breakout Sessions

Gut Microbiome Breakout Session
Germline Somatic Tumor Testing Breakout Session
Molecular Pathways Breakout Session
Immunotherapies Breakout Session
Caregiving Breakout Session
Provider Education for Diagnosis Breakout Session

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COLONTOWN University: Novel CRC Patient Education Resources for Patient Empowerment

Nancy Seybold; Manju George, DVM, PhD; Susan Wysoki
PALTOWN Development Foundation, United States, COLONTOWN, United States

Poster Presentation
Never Too Young: Early-Age Onset Patient and Caregiver Experiences in Canada

Elle Doherty, MPH, CHE; Iris Karry
Colorectal Cancer Canada, Canada

Poster Presentation
Awareness Drives Preventative Screening Coverage for Employees

Michael Mancini, Patient Advocate, United States

Poster Presentation
Sharing Actual Patient Experience in Understanding, Searching, Matching, Enrolling, and Participating in Clinical Trials

Jessica Buscho, Patient Advocate, United States

Poster Presentation
Raising awareness, challenging perceptions and motivating action to address Australia’s rising rates of early-age onset bowel cancer

Joni Thomes, Bowel Cancer Australia, Australia

Poster Presentation
Early Age Onset CRC & My Research Advocacy Efforts and Contributions

Wenora Johnson, Patient Advocate, United States

Poster Presentation
On-Call Allies: A More Tailored Approach to Colorectal Cancer Patient Support

Andrea Bauer, Michelle Cappel, Vanessa Ghigliotty, Allison Rosen
Patient Advocates, United States

Improving Quality of Life by Incorporating Properly Trained Ostomy Peers to Provide Education Support and Non-Clinical Care into Treatment

Debi Fox, Ostomy 2-1-1, United States


Majority of patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection 2010-2018 have not participated in colorectal screening programs

Carmen Fong, MD; Dimitri F. Joseph; Ellen Li, MD; Paula Denoya, MD
Mount Sinai Hospital, United States
Stony Brook University School of Medicine, United States

Molecular and clinical characterization of Brazilian early-age onset colorectal cancer patients

Giovana Tardin Torrezan, Sara Iolanda Oliveira da Silva, Bruna Elisa Katin Kupper, Karina Miranda Santiago, Samuel Aguiar, Maria Nirvana Formiga, Dirce Maria Carraro
A.C. Camargo Cancer Center, Brazil

Familial Component of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer in Europe: An Opportunity for Disease Prevention

Maria Daca Alvarez, Marc Martí, Antonino Spinelli, Marek Szczepkowski, Wieslaw Tarnowski, Omar Faiz, Kevin Monahan, Silviu-Tiberiu Makkai-Popa, Noel de Miranda, Claire Palles, Sirio Melone, Fernando Jiménez, Elena Hurtado, Marta Jiménez, IsabelPrieto, Araceli Ballestero, José A. Alcazar, Alfredo Vivas, Lorena Brandáriz, Irene López, Edurne Álvaro, Teresa Ocaña, Lorena Moreno, Sabela Carballal, Leticia Moreira, Maria Pellisé, Andreana N. Holowatyj, José Perea, Francesc Balaguer

Gastroenterology Department, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Spain
Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
Hospital Humanitas, Milan, Italy
Bielanski Hospital, Warsaw, Poland
Orlowski Hospital, Warsaw, Poland
St. Mark’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom
West Middlesex University Hospital, London, United Kingdom
Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands
Birmingham University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
Hospital Galdakao-Usansolo, Vizcaya, Spain
Hospital Universitario Gregorio Marañon, Spain
Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain
Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain
Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain
Hospital Universitario General de Villalba, Madrid, Spain
Hospital MD Anderson, Madrid, Spain
Hospital Universitario Infanta Leonor, Madrid, Spain
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain

Comparative analysis of tumor characteristics and oncologic outcomes of patients with early-versus late-onset rectal cancer

Sara Tamburello, Caterina Foppa, Michele Carvello, Luigi Laghi, Laura Poliani, Armando Santoro, Valeria Smiroldo, Cristiana Bonifacio, Marco Montorsi, Annalisa Maroli, Antonino Spinelli
IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy

Poster Presentation
Is early-onset colorectal cancer different according to disease location? Analysis of tumor characteristics, risk factors and clinical outcomes of 385 genetically tested patients

Caterina Foppa, Sara Tamburello, Michele Carvello, Luigi Laghi, Laura Poliani, Armando Santoro, Valeria Smiroldo, Cristiana Bonifacio, Annalisa Maroli, Antonino Spinelli
IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy

Poster Presentation
Characterizing the burden of early onset colorectal cancers in Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Nicholas Matovu, Helen G. Coleman, Chris R. Cardwell, Ines Mesa-Eguiagaray, Evropi Theodoratou, Charlene M. McShane; Centre for Public Health
Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research
Centre for Global Health, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, Institute of Genetics and Cancer, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Poster Presentation
Sexual dysfunction among young adult colorectal cancer survivors

Julia Stal, BA; Serena Yi, BSc.; Sally Cohen-Cutler, MD, MS; Phuong Gallagher, BS; Afsaneh Barzi, MD, PhD; David R. Freyer, DO, MS; Jonathan N. Kaslander, MArch; Martina Anto-Ocrah, PhD; Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD; Kimberly A. Miller, PhD, MPH

Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The Colon Club, USA
Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Departments of Emergency Medicine, ObGyn, and Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA
Division of Oncology, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Department of Dermatology, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Genetic analysis of SMAD4 C-terminal domain in patients with microsatellite stable early-age onset colorectal cancer

Jovana Despotovic, Tamara Babic, Zoran Krivokapic, Aleksandra Nikolic

Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
First Surgical Clinic, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade, Serbia

Poster Presentation
Establishing a Coordinated Clinical Center for Young Onset Colorectal Cancer

Melissa Lumish, Lerie Palmaira, Joseph Bacani, Asha Krishnan, Jill Weiss, Rosemary Semler, Anne Casson, Ashley Arkema, Jeanne Carter, Christian Nelson, John Mulhall, Julio Garcia-Aguilar, Zsofia Stadler, Robin Mendelsohn, Andrea Cercek

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, United States

Poster Presentation
Sugar-sweetened beverage intake in adulthood and adolescence and risk of early-onset colorectal cancer among women

Jinhee Hur, Ebunoluwa Otegbeye, Hee-Kyung Joh, Katharina Nimptsch, Kimmie Ng, Shuji Ogino, Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, Andrew T.Chan, Walter C. Willett, Kana Wu, Edward Giovannucci, Yin Cao

Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, United States
Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, United States
Department of Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea
Molecular Epidemiology Research Group, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Germany
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, United States
Program in Molecular Pathological Epidemiology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, United States
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, United States
Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, United States
Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, United States

Poster Presentation
Methylated Septin9 (mSEPT9) is a promising biomarker for the early detection and screening of early-onset colorectal cancer

Holli A. Loomans-Kropp, Yurong Song, Manish Gala, Aparna R. Parikh, Emily Van Seventer, Rocio Alvarez, Megan P. Hitchins, Robert H. Shoemaker, Asad Umar

National Cancer Institute, United States
Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, United States
Massachusetts General Hospital, United States
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, United States

Genetics of early onset colorectal cancers

Helen Curley, Silver Makepeace, Sarah Briggs, Lynn Martin, Ian Tomlinson, Claire Palles

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Computational Biology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, IGMM, University of Edinburgh, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


Program Documents

Speaker and Moderator Bios

Advocacy and Scientific Abstracts

Fight CRC Resources

Survivorship Care Planning

Clinical Trial Finder

Resource Library

Organizations and Programs

American Cancer Society

Bowel Cancer Australia

Bowel Cancer UK

Colorectal Cancer Canada

Colorectal Cancer Resource and Action Network (Canada)

Digestive Cancers Europe

Europa Colon Italia Onlus

Lynch Syndrome Ireland

Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC)

Funding Entities


Department of Defense – Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)

National Cancer Institute Funding Opportunities

Additional Resources

United Ostomy Associations of America

Ostomy 2-1-1

Living with Cancer: A Report on the Patient Experience

History of the Event

In 2019, Dr. José Perea, a colorectal cancer researcher in Madrid, Spain, shared his vision for an international research symposium that would bring together the sharpest minds focused on early-onset colorectal cancer (also called EAO CRC) with Fight CRC. 

A strong partnership was formed and the inaugural EAO CRC International Symposium was developed. The initial event in Denver, Colorado hosted 45 attendees from 4 countries. From this event, the Fight CRC EAO CRC Workgroup was formed. In 2020, the 2nd-annual symposium became a virtual event and grew to more than 500 registrants from 17 countries. 

In planning for our third year, our vision grew bigger. We wanted to include the patient voice in discussions and build a bridge between researchers, clinicians, and advocates. We felt it was imperative to create an engaging space to listen and learn from one another. 

To reflect our vision and growth, we renamed the annual event to Rally on Research. In 2021, we will rally to continue discussing EAO CRC and paving a collaborative path forward. 

Watch the 2020 Event 

2020 EAO CRC International Symposium

Thank You to Our Sponsors

International Advocacy and Research Partners