Colon Cancer Alliance Launches First-Ever Chris4Life Peer-Reviewed Research Program

First Grant to Respond to the Rising Trends in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer by Awarding Multi-Year Grant to a Qualified Researcher

Washington, DC — The Colon Cancer Alliance is pleased to launch its first-ever Chris4Life Peer-Reviewed research program. The program is titled the Chris4Life Peer Reviewed research program, named in honor of Colon Cancer Alliance’s Founder & CEO’s mother Christine Sapienza who passed away from colon cancer in 2009. Given the rising trends in young-onset colorectal cancer and the recent data released in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, which indicates that adults born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer compared with those born in 1950, this grant cycle will offer opportunities for young-onset colorectal cancer research.

“The Colon Cancer Alliance is dedicated to investing $10 million in life-saving research by 2021,” said CEO Michael Sapienza.  “Through our peer-reviewed research program, our agenda will include understanding why those under 50 are increasingly diagnosed with colorectal cancer and decreasing late-state diagnosis of high-risk populations, advancing precision medicine and immunotherapies and developing better mechanisms for pre-disease and early diagnosis of colorectal cancer. By funding research in these critical areas, we hope to be one step closer to a future free of colon cancer,” Sapienza added.  

The grant selection process will utilize a research proposal review system similar to that of the National Institutes of Health. Research proposals will be reviewed by members of a distinguished Scientific Review Panel. Members of the panel are drawn from outstanding institutions such as:

      • National Cancer Institute
      • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
      • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      • Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center
      • Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine
      • University of Colorado
      • University of South Carolina

The research proposed for funding may be basic, translational, clinical, or epidemiological in nature and should focus on changes in the microbiome and its impact in the development of young onset colorectal cancer. The underlying goal of the Colon Cancer Alliance’s research program is to provide funding for innovative projects expected to lead to future funding from other peer-reviewed sources.

A multi-year grant in the amount of $125,000 will be awarded at the end of the year, with grant terms to begin January 2, 2018.  Interested investigators can find further details at   Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM EDT, Thursday, August 31, 2017, using the Colon Cancer Alliance’s on-line application.  Additional inquires may be directed to Stephanie Guiffre at

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The Colon Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colon cancer within our lifetime. Working with our nation of passionate advocates, we are empowered to support the needs of patients and survivors, eager to raise awareness of preventative screening, and poised to help fund critical research. We are fiercely determined to end colon cancer once and for all.


Special thanks to Olympus, The Lyons Family and Roanne’s Race for their support of our Research program.