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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: 2020 Immunotherapy Research Update

March 17, 2020

Today, colorectal cancer accounts for about 1 in 10 cancer cases and deaths globally. While overall incidence rates are dropping, a worrying trend is emerging: the incidence rate is rising among young adults.

This March for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we look at microsatellite instability, Lynch syndrome, and how we’re working toward a future immune to colorectal cancer.

Treating Colorectal Cancer

"So the biggest impact of immunotherapy in colorectal cancer has been in a subtype called microsatellite instability high,” explained Kimmie Ng, M.D., MPH, the founding director of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center, during the research update panel at the 2019 CRI Immunotherapy Patient Summit in Boston.

Colorectal Cancer Patient Story

After nine months of debilitating chemotherapy, Ron learned that he had Lynch syndrome, which qualified him for a combination immunotherapy clinical trial. He began nivolumab and ipilimumab to manage stage 4 colorectal cancer—with no evidence of disease progression and without feeling sick. Read Ron's Story

Colorectal Cancer Scientist Spotlight

Natalia Ketelut-Carneiro, Ph.D.CRI Fellow Natalia Ketelut-Carneiro, Ph.D., is seeking to define the pathways leading to the activation of a novel Gasdermin protein, characterize its role in cell death, and test how it impacts intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer. Understanding its role in the intestine could reveal new potential targets for cancer drugs.

Learn more about Dr. Ketelut-Carneiro's research
 

Colorectal Cancer Advocacy

Gordon Levine, colorectal cancer patient“What I'm starting to learn about cancer advocacy is that I have an opportunity to use the skills that I previously used as an attorney to help benefit other patients going through similar issues as well as to try to find a way to improve access to immunotherapy,” shared Gordon Levine, who was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014.

Learn about Gordon's patient advocacy journey
 

Colorectal Cancer Study

The CRI Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator is currently sponsoring an immunotherapy trial studying the combination of a PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor and an oncolytic virus in patients with advanced colorectal cancer, led by Kunle Odunsi, M.D., Ph.D., of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Dmitriy Zamarin, M.D., Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Learn more about CRI Clinical trials

Immunotherapy for Colorectal Cancer
Information Updated

Immunotherapy for colorectal cancer can be effective, especially in cases where tumors show high microsatellite instability, and there are several FDA-approved treatment options.

VIEW Immunotherapy for Colorectal Cancer UPDATE

Find a Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trial

A variety of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. Our Clinical Trial Finder will match you to trials for which you may be eligible, and you can help speed the development of lifesaving drugs for yourself and others.

FIND A Cancer Clinical TRIAL

Support Colorectal Cancer Research

In 1998, a CRI-funded landmark study provided early evidence that immunotherapy can act as a catalyst or enhancement for ideal immunologic conditions that could extend the lives of colorectal cancer patients. Over two decades and many CRI-funded research projects later, there are six FDA-approved immunotherapies for colorectal cancer and many more in clinical trials. This Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.

DONATE to Colorectal Cancer Research

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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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