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University of Melbourne gets $8.7 M funding for world’s largest colorectal cancer registry

04 May 2023 | News

To enable valuable research across the spectrum of risk, diagnosis, prognosis, and quality of life

Image credit: shutterstock

Image credit: shutterstock

The international registry of colorectal cancer patients and relatives, supporting earlier diagnosis and research to improve patient outcomes, has received $8.7 million from the US-based National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The University of Melbourne, in Australia, has received this additional five years’ funding for six sites in Australia, the USA and Canada for the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR), the largest global cohort study of colorectal cancer causes and outcomes in the world, which will see the registry reach 30 years of operation in 2027.

The CCFR is managed by an international consortium of institutions, and supports work to better understand the causes of colorectal cancer, improve clinical management of the disease and aid prevention efforts.

Professor Mark Jenkins and Associate Professor Dan Buchanan of the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research and the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health are principal investigators of the study and co-lead the Australian arm of the CCFR.

“Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. This funding is a huge win for long-term monitoring and understanding of the disease through multiple generations, with the ability to retrospectively take advantage of new technologies such as genomic sequencing", Professor Jenkins said.

The CCFR is currently undertaking a major research effort to uncover the reasons behind the growing number of colorectal cancer diagnoses in individuals under the age of 50. This new tranche of funding will help preserve the existing registry, recruit the next generation of participants, and allow researchers to characterise incidents of colorectal cancers around the world.

Professor Jenkins said researchers will also investigate the impact COVID-19 had on access to bowel cancer screening.


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