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  82. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
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Saturday, December 14, 2019
  1. Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
  2. Kid-approved vegan eats
  3. Fudgy Avocado Walnut Brownies
  4. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
  5. Amazing Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
  6. 2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Her
  7. Herbal Inclusions for Dishes and Drinks
  8. 4 Diabetes Game Changers
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  10. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cream Cheese
  11. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-23-2019
  12. Wedding Planning: The Ring, Our Vendors, and More!
  13. Instant Pot Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
  14. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-16-2019
  15. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 10-26-2019
  16. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-02-2019
  17. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  18. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-09-2019
  19. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  20. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  21. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
  22. Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  23. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  24. Unearthing Evidence-Based Integrative Remedies to Stress
  25. Scribble Anxiety Away
  26. Best Hostess Gift Ever
  27. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
  28. Pumpkin Walnut Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
  29. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
  30. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  31. Vegan Chili Cornbread Casserole
  32. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  33. Orca Conservation
  34. Fall’s Functional Foods
  35. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  36. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  37. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
  38. Lessons on Food and Farming in Monterey, California
  39. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  40. Quick and Easy-One Pan Veggie Red Curry
  41. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-21-2019
  42. Here’s How to Live a more Colourful Life
  43. Cooking with CBD
  44. Eco-friendly Food Storage
  45. Bento Box Recipes
  46. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
  47. Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
  48. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-14-2019
  49. 5 lunchbox ideas
  50. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
  51. Fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
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  53. 33 Mouthwatering Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
  54. What I Ate Wednesday
  55. The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
  56. VOTE TODAY!
  57. Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
  58. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  59. Keep your cool
  60. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
  61. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  62. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  63. Your brain on… air pollution?
  64. Brain Boosters
  65. MCT oil Coconut’s healthful gift
  66. Hot right now
  67. Cupcakes for breakfast?
  68. Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  69. What is CBD? A Guide to Health Benefits, Usage, and More!
  70. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  71. Hummus Toast – 4 Ways!
  72. What I Ate Wednesday
  73. Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Banana Muffins
  74. Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research
  75. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  76. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  77. What is CPR?
  78. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
  79. Cushing Syndrome (For Parents)
  80. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  81. Manganese
  82. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
  83. She Faced Breast Cancer At 16 With Little Help From Doctors. Now She’s Speaking Out On Behalf Of Black Women
  84. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  85. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  86. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  87. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  88. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  89. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  90. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  91. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  92. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
  93. Lion With Skin Cancer Has Received Radiation Therapy In Hospital
  94. 3rd Grader Writes Note for Teacher Battling Breast Cancer to Read Right Before Treatment
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  99. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks About The Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  100. Teacher on Leave for Breast Cancer Treatment Forced to Pay for Her Own Substitute
  101. 27-Year-Old Thought She Was Injured Falling Off A Horse, But Then She Learned She Had Breast Cancer
  102. Should Surgery And Radiation Be The Standard Treatment For DCIS? The COMET Study Is Finding Out
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  104. This Charcoal Powder Drastically Whitens Teeth Without Any Chemicals
  105. These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss
  106. Olivia Newton-John Talks About How She Stays Positive Amid Cancer Battle
  107. This Army Captain Mom Was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer When She Was Just 8 Weeks Pregnant
  108. High-Deductible Health Plans Linked to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
  109. Antibiotic shortages are putting Aboriginal kids at risk – The Conversation AU
  110. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
  111. People who skip breakfast are five times more likely to die after a heart attack – Daily Mail
  112. Yale researchers revive cells in dead pig brains – Yale Daily News
  113. Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report – Fox News
  114. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
  115. After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Technology Professor Teaches Computers to Read Mammograms
  116. Fact or Fiction: What to Know About Smoking Cessation and Medications
  117. If Soap and Water Are Not Available, Hand Sanitizers May Be a Good Alternative
  118. Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products
  119. One side of your brain might be giving you nightmares – Cosmos
  120. What Personality Tests Tell Us About Ourselves – NPR
  121. Having a resting heart rate of 75 beats per minute DOUBLES your risk of an early death – Daily Mail
  122. Wear protective goggles to play badminton
  123. Herbal drug kratom linked to almost 100 overdose deaths, CDC says – USA TODAY
  124. Ability to lift weights quickly can mean a longer life – EurekAlert
  125. Climate change is making allergy season worse – CNN
  126. 11 Unexpected Ways You Can Relieve Headaches – HuffPost
  127. New Jersey preschoolers have highest autism rates in the nation, researchers say
  128. Auburn gymnast who suffered severe injuries: My pain is not your entertainment
  129. A four-day work week could improve our health and cut carbon emissions
  130. Promising treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome fails large trial

NCI-funded researchers are working to advance our understanding of how to prevent, detect, and treat colorectal cancer (CRC). They are also looking at what factors influence screening behaviors, how to address disparities, and the rising rates of CRC in younger people.

This page highlights some of the latest research in colorectal cancer, including clinical advances that may soon translate into improved care, NCI-supported programs that are fueling progress, and research findings from recent studies.

Prevention and Early Detection

Screening can reduce the risk of CRC through detection of precancerous growths, or polyps, before they become cancerous. It can also allow cancers to be detected early, before they cause symptoms and when treatment may be more effective. CRC screening tests include colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, stool-based tests, and virtual colonoscopy.

Despite the availability of effective CRC screening tests, some people choose not to get screened mainly due to the personal nature of the procedures, perceived costs, and the preparation involved for a colonoscopy.

Addressing barriers. To address these barriers, researchers are working to develop tests that are easier to use. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a blood test (Epi proColon®) for CRC, but it is not yet known whether people who use that test have a reduced risk of dying from CRC.

Although not currently recommended for screening, there are new techniques under development such as:

  • Finding technologies that improve the genetic analysis of stool samples, which may reveal the presence of tumor DNA.
  • Looking at changes in the gut microbiome and trying to identify specific bacteria that could potentially help screen patients for CRC.

Repeat screening or follow-up. One concern about CRC screening is that some people don’t repeat screenings or follow up on abnormal test results. NCI is funding research to better understand how to increase the acceptance of repeat and follow-up screenings. Scientists are also studying the many levels of the healthcare delivery system and their effect on the decision to get screened.

Taking aspirin. Recent studies have shown that daily low-dose aspirin may prevent colorectal cancer. However, there are potential harms, particularly the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspirin is currently recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to prevent colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease in some individuals age 50 to 69. The NCI-sponsored study Aspirin Metabolomics in Colorectal Cancer Chemoprevention is seeking to identify blood and colon tissue substances that may play a role in the anticancer effects of aspirin.

Treatment for Colorectal Cancer

Rectal Cancer: Treatment, Research and Quality of Life

Learn about treatment advances and new developments in rectal cancer research from this Facebook Live event with experts Dr. Carmen Allegra, Dr. Deborah Schrag, and moderator Ms. Andrea Denicoff.

Surgically removing the cancer is the most common treatment for many stages of colorectal cancer. Chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, radiofrequency ablation, and cryosurgery are other treatments that may be used to treat colorectal cancer, depending on the stage.

Because of an increased risk of recurrence and poorer prognosis, the treatment of rectal cancer may differ from that of colon cancer. Although surgery is the most common treatment for rectal cancer, advanced stages may also be treated with radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or active surveillance.

In addition to these standard treatments, researchers are continuing to study new treatments, such as immunotherapies, as well as new combinations of existing treatments, in clinical trials.

Immunotherapy for patients with Lynch syndrome

Approximately 5% of CRC cases are due to Lynch syndrome, an inherited DNA repair disorder. People with this disorder have a higher-than-normal risk of developing CRC, typically before they reach the age of 50. Lynch syndrome CRC tumors have many mutations, which may make them more susceptible to immunotherapies.

Indeed, the immune checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab (Opdivo), ipilimumab (Yervoy), and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) have been approved for the treatment of metastatic CRC in patients with Lynch syndrome. (They also have been approved for metastatic CRC in patients with microsatellite instability-high cancer (MSI-H)

Combining immunotherapy with other treatments for patients without Lynch syndrome

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have been less effective in the 95% of CRC patients without Lynch syndrome. Scientists are currently testing various agents, such as chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapies and viruses, in combination with immune-based therapy to determine whether combining treatments would be effective in killing cancer cells.

Testing targeted therapies for metastatic colorectal cancer

Using targeted therapies against genetic mutations that may be driving tumor growth is another key area of research for metastatic CRC. The goal is to find agents that can block the activity of the abnormal proteins produced by these mutations. For example, an NCI-supported trial showed that colorectal cancer that contains mutations in the BRAF gene responds to treatment with the drug vemurafenib (Zelboraf), which targets mutant B-Raf protein, when combined with cetuximab (Erbitux) (an anti-EGFR antibody) and irinotecan (Camptosar) (a chemotherapy drug).

Testing liquid biopsies

Liquid biopsies are a promising new approach being explored to detect, analyze, and track DNA, cells, and other substances shed from tumors into bodily fluids, such as blood and urine. Scientists are testing this method to detect CRC early, measure treatment responses, identify treatment resistance, and monitor for disease recurrence.

NCI-Supported Research Programs

Many NCI-funded researchers at the NIH campus, and across the United States and world, are seeking ways to address colorectal cancer more effectively. Some research is basic, exploring questions as diverse as the biological underpinnings of cancer and the social factors that affect cancer risk. And some is more clinical, seeking to translate this basic information into improving patient outcomes. The programs listed below are a small sampling of NCI’s research efforts for colorectal cancer.

Clinical Trials

NCI funds and oversees both early- and late-phase clinical trials to develop new treatments and improve patient care. Trials are available for colorectal cancer screening, to prevent colon and rectal cancer, and treatment for colon cancer and rectal cancer. 

Colorectal Cancer Research Results

The following are some of our latest news articles on colorectal cancer research:

View the full list of Colorectal Cancer Research Results and Study Updates.

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