Two of the nation’s preeminent leaders in cancer research and policy took the stage Sunday morning at the Opening Ceremony of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019.
Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, FAACR, and Douglas R. Lowy, MD, discussed recent progress against cancer from the vantage point of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Sharpless has served as director of the NCI since October 2017, and will soon leave the agency to become acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lowy will take over as NCI acting director, a position he held from 2015-2017.
Sharpless and Lowy discussed the rapid pace of progress in cancer care, drug development, clinical trials, and research funding over the past few years, and vowed to continue the momentum in their new roles in Washington, D.C.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. More than 50,000 people are estimated to have died from colorectal cancer in the United States last year, according to federal statistics.
Colorectal cancer typically begins as a slow-growing, noncancerous polyp which, over time, can progress to invasive cancer. If a cancerous polyp isn’t removed, it can penetrate the lining of the large intestine, allowing the cancer to spread to other organs through blood or lymph vessels. With screening, it is possible to detect and remove polyps before they become cancerous. An increase in colorectal cancer awareness and screening has most likely contributed to the overall reduction in colorectal cancer incidence in the last 30 years.
As March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve put together a selection of recent colorectal cancer studies across the AACR portfolio along with screening recommendations and risk factors associated with this disease.