Training and Research in Colon Cancer Survival

Cancer Prevention Program

Training and Research in Colon Cancer Survival

This is an Established Investigator award for training and research in colorectal cancer survivorship. The epidemiology of cancer survival continues to be an essential area, as the population of cancer survivors is rapidly growing because of screening and treatment successes. Therefore, identifying approaches to improve survival in colorectal cancer patients is a high priority for patients, clinicians, and caregivers. Colorectal cancer is a complex disease caused by the joint action of environmental, behavioral, and genetic factors; longevity after diagnosis too must reflect these joint effects.


  • Further develop and actively participate in the newly emerging International Survival Analysis of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (ISACC) that currently includes 23 studies and nearly 27,000 colorectal cancers, in order to initiate research projects with Consortium investigators and mentees to leverage the diverse and well-annotated populations and biospecimens collected by the participating studies.

  • Test whether the colon tumor genome, as defined by BRAF mutation, KRAS mutation, CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (CIMP), and microsatellite instability (MSI) status, is associated with colorectal cancer survival, and assess whether this association is modified by epidemiologic factors or common germline genetic variants.

  • Develop and validate a prognostic model for survival utilizing the tumor genome, epidemiologic factors, and germline genetic variants.

Cancer survivorship is a challenging area of prevention research with unique methods for analyses and controlling bias, making mentorship of junior investigators key to the successful production of significant and impactful research results. There is an outstanding pool of pre- and post-doctoral trainees from the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson with mentee funding available from 4 training grants with which Dr. Newcomb serves as PI, a mentor, and/or on the Executive Committee. Dr. Newcomb regularly meets with trainees individually, and weekly as a group, to develop expertise in study conduct, analyses, manuscript preparation, grant writing, and the responsible conduct of research. The K05 award will be an invaluable mechanism to better understand the factors that can enhance cancer survival, and in doing so, develop junior researchers highly skilled in cancer control.

Polly Newcomb, PHD, MPH

Polly A. Newcomb, PHD, MPH
Member, Cancer Prevention Program  

More Information

To learn more about the associated training grants, see below:

Cancer Prevention Training: Epidemiology, Nutrition, Genetics & Survivorship. (PI: P. Newcomb T32CA094880)

Cancer Epidemiology and Biostatistics Training Grant (PI: S. Schwartz , T32CA009168)

Biobehavioral Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program Training Grant (PI: B. Thompson T32CA092408)

Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Bioinformatics in Environmental Health Training Grant (PI: L. Sheppard, T32ES015459).

Rachel Malen