Joshua Meyer Receives Colorectal Cancer Alliance Grant for Research on Young Onset Colorectal Cancer

May 10, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (May 10, 2019) — Joshua Meyer, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, recently received a grant from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance for a study on genomic alterations central to the development of colorectal cancer in younger adults. The two-year, $125,000 Chris4Life Grant comes from an Alliance program dedicated to researching colorectal cancer in younger patients.

Young onset refers to individuals who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer before age 50. Approximately 11 percent of all colorectal cancer diagnoses are young onset, and the proportion has been increasing in recent years. 

“Colorectal cancer occurring in younger people differs from the disease that affects older patients in many ways that affect prognosis and success of treatment,” Meyer said. “We are also finding that standard therapies are less effective in young patients.”

The grant will support Meyer’s effort to accurately identify the genetic profile of the types of tumors arising in younger patients in order to enable the development of effective therapies specifically for young onset colorectal cancer. His research will lead to a better understanding of the molecular drivers of colorectal cancer in younger patients.

“For the first time, we will be able to thoroughly characterize young onset colorectal cancer, and identify novel targets for therapy,” he said.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.


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