Newcomb team gets over $4 million grant to investigate aggressive, understudied type of colorectal cancer
Dr. Polly Newcomb, head of the Cancer Prevention Program in Fred Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division, has just been awarded over $4 million from the National Institutes of Health to investigate a newly recognized, biologically distinct subtype of colorectal cancer known as serrated colorectal cancer.
“About 20 to 30 percent of all colorectal cancers have this subtype,” said Newcomb, a longtime public health researcher. “It’s more difficult to find and there’s evidence that these are particularly aggressive cancers. Patients are more likely to have a poorer outcome.”
Much like breast cancer and its various subtypes, colorectal cancer is biologically heterogeneous. Newcomb said serrated colorectal cancer was “a high-risk type, such as triple-negative breast cancer.”
And it hasn’t been studied much.
“There hasn’t been a lot of work done on this,” said Newcomb. “This project will definitely be one of the largest studies of serrated colorectal cancers.”