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Supporting Innovative Research


The Alliance’s mission is to end colorectal cancer in our lifetime. By supporting innovative colorectal cancer research by top doctors and scientists, we take important steps toward realizing our vision — a world free of this disease.

Click on a type of research below to see who is using our funding to accelerate treatment, prevention, and a cure. 

Research Focus: Prevention

Dr. Megan Hitchins

Diagnostic Performance of Plasma-Based Methylated Circulating DNA Markers to Detect Colorectal Cancer Under 50 Years Old

Institutions: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Funding Mechanism: Chris4Life
Research Description: Dr. Megan Hitchins is developing a “minimally-invasive” blood-based screening test suitable for the early detection of CRC in people under 50 years old. The team has developed assays capable of detecting ctDNA markers at potentially very low levels in blood, with the ultimate aim of producing a screening test that includes a panel of the best-performing ctDNA markers. Encouragingly, the ctDNA blood tests have even positively detected the few patients in their study who were diagnosed with precancerous adenomas. This research is now much closer to producing a blood test suitable for the early detection of CRC. This research has led to two papers awaiting publications and numerous grants, including a grant from NIH. 

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