• Colorectal Cancer Info MAIN MENU
  • Screen MAIN MENU
  • Care MAIN MENU
  • Cure MAIN MENU
  • Get Involved MAIN MENU
  • Our Mission MAIN MENU

Subscribe to the Newsletter

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: Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Dr. Kimmie Ng

The Role of the Microbiome and Immunity in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Institutions: Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Funding Mechanism: Chris4Life
Research Description: Dr. Kimmie Ng is investigating how the microbiome is different in the very youngest CRC patients compared to those in their 30s, 40s, and over 50 years old, as well as compared to healthy young individuals. She will then examine whether those differences in the microbiome lead to worsening tumor growth and weakened immunity against the cancer in mouse models of young-onset CRC. As the director of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, Dr. Ng is uniquely situated to ask and answer these questions. The knowledge will then be used to discover new ways to change the microbiome to improve the immune response against CRC, and develop more precise ways to screen and treat people at different stages of life.

Dr. Joshua Meyer

Differentiation of Early Onset Colorectal Cancer

Institutions: Fox Chase Cancer Center
Funding Mechanism: Chris4Life
Research Description: Dr. Joshua Meyer is investigating the genomic differences between young-onset colorectal cancer and those diagnosed at 50 or older. His research asks the question: Is colorectal cancer in a younger person and an older person the same disease, or is it distinct, requiring a different treatment approach? In his pursuit of an answer, Dr. Meyer has made important discoveries that are beginning to provide clarity. He and his team examined the specific changes in an important oncogene, KRAS, and found differences between younger and older patients, as well as differences between colon and rectal cancer patients.

Dr. Robin Mendolsohn

Increasing Incidence of Young Onset Colorectal Cancer: Is the Answer in the Microbiome?

Institutions: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Center for Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer
Funding Mechanism: Chris4Life
Research Description: Dr. Robin Mendolsohn is gathering new insight on the cause of young-onset CRC by collecting data on exposures, including diet and the environment. She and her team will collect stool samples to determine whether the bacteria in the gut (the microbiome) plays a role in the development of this disease. The investigators are hopeful that this research will have implications on CRC prevention, as the make-up of the microbiome could potentially be changed with diet.

Dr. Rosa Munoz Xicola

A Novel Subtype Enriched in Young Onset Colorectal Cancer

Institutions: Yale School of Medicine
Funding Mechanism: Chris4Life
Research Description: Dr. Rosa Munoz Xicola is investigating characteristics about a novel type of colorectal cancer that appears in 25% of young-onset CRC patients. Her work will allow for more effective treatment in this population. This is extremely relevant research because understanding the molecular features that drive these colorectal tumors will help establish new therapeutic strategies. Young-onset CRC patients are currently given the same types of treatment as patients with later-onset CRC, even though clinical characteristics differ. 

Dr. Benjamin Weinberg

A Comparison Study of Intestinal Microbiota and Molecular Profiles of Colorectal Cancers in Young and Older Patients (COSMO-CRC)

Institutions: MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Funding Mechanism: Chris4Life
Research Description: Dr. Benjamin Wienberg aims to identify the differences in the microbiome of young-onset CRC and those 50 and older to identify certain bacteria that could be used as targets for new therapies for patients with advanced disease. Research has found higher rates of certain bacteria in younger patients. The study continues to analyze remaining patient samples and the researchers hope to identify certain high-risk bacterial stool profiles that may be used to identify young patients at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. 

Latest Updates

Upcoming Events

Are you sure?

Clicking "Start Over" will empty your resources drawer and take you back to the beginning of the journey customizer. Would you like to continue?

Are you sure?

Clicking "Exit" will permanently close your resource drawer for the rest of the session. If you would like to minimize the drawer and access it from other pages, click the symbol next to "MY RESOURCES". Would you like to permanently exit the drawer?