Arizona Cancer Center Receives $17 Million Grant for Colon Cancer Research

Laurie Young
Oct. 3, 2000

Researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center have received more than $17 million from the National Cancer Institute to support colon cancer prevention research over the next five years. This represents the largest single grant to the University of Arizona College of Medicine in the past five years.

The grant will fund the work of a team of researchers from six major universities.

"This grant will support the efforts of a team of outstanding cancer researchers who have developed a highly integrated and interactive research proposal with a strong likelihood of success," said Dr. David S. Alberts, principal investigator for this research grant and director of the Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

In addition to University of Arizona reseachers, the team includes scientists and physicians from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, the University of Colorado in Denver, the State University of New York in Buffalo, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Together they will focus on three research projects and will complete two large cancer control studies involving 2,800 participants.

The projects will look at the effects ursodeoxycholic acid, celecoxib and selenium have on reducing the recurrence of colon polyps; how specific genetic and biologic markers may predict for colon polyp recurrence; and what lifestyle and environmental factors may enhance susceptibility to colon polyp recurrence.

"We know that colon cancer is preventable if we can remove colon polyps before they develop into cancer, or better yet, if we can prevent them from occurring in the first place," Alberts said. "Through this research we hope to develop easier, less expensive and less invasive strategies to reduce both the recurrence of polyps and the overall colorectal cancer risk."

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. in both men and women. According to American Cancer Society estimates, 130,200 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed this year and 56,300 people will die from this disease, accounting for approximately 11 percent of cancer deaths.




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