CCCF Research Program

The CCCF is pleased to announce the launch of its Annual Research Scholarship Award (ARSA) for July 1 for the 2014 – 2015 academic year.

The purpose of the award is to provide sufficient support to allow a young clinical or scientific investigator the opportunity to spend an entire academic year being mentored in a top basic science and or clinical research laboratory focused on hereditary and early age onset colorectal cancer (CRC).

CRCDNAHost Institutions from a pool of institutions well known to the CCCF Leadership in North America, Europe, as well as Australia and Asia have agreed to participate in the ARSA program. The fundamental components the Foundation expects our supported scholars to have significant exposure to will include:

1. CRC translational genetic research
2. CRC genetic Counseling
3. G.I. Cancer Family Registries
4. Mutation Database Curation , if available
5. Surgical / Multidisciplinary clinical care of Familial / early age onset CRC patients.

Applicants will be required to complete an application which will include a written explanation of the basis for their interest and their career plans and ambitions.

Applicants must be in good standing at ACGME approved training programs. It will be the responsibility of the candidate to insure in writing from their institution that they will be able to return to their post graduate training upon completion of the fellowship if they have interrupted their clinical training to participate in the fellowship.

To request an application please contact us at scholarship@coloncancerchallenge.org

Research Grant Awardees

Andrea M. Abbot

Andrea M. Abbott

Describe yourself (Personal background, academic background, interests…)

I am from Kansas City, Missouri and received both my Bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City combined 6-year program. I completed my  general surgery residency at the University of Minnesota during which time I spent two years performing outcomes research and received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research from the UM School of Public Health. Upon completion of my residency in 2013, I started in my current position as a Fellow in Complex General Surgical Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center.
My personal interests include spending time with my two children who are 2 and 4 years old, reading, paddle-boarding, and playing golf.


Tell us about any awards and distinctions you have received

During residency I received awards from the Association of Women Surgeons and the University of Minnesota for outcomes research I conducted. I was honored with the Henry Buchwald Award during residency for my commitment to academic medicine and was chosen by the surgical residents as resident mentor of the year for teaching both in and out of the operating room.  During fellowship I was recognized by the University of South Florida for outstanding research and I received the ASGO-GI Merit Award in January 2015 for work conducted on treatment of neuroendocrine tumor metastases.

Tell us about your past work and research efforts in the past and its significance to colon cancer

Colon cancer is a preventable disease and,  if caught early, is largely curable however, when it has spread to other organs the prognosis is poor. My past work has focused on colon cancer prevention as well as outcomes of different modalities used in the treatment of metastatic disease.


What is your mission and goals in the current work that you are doing?

Alarmingly, the incidence of colon cancer appears to be increasing in patients under the age of 50 years old. Although a number of young patients are identified as having hereditary syndromes, a significant proportion have no known identifiable inherited condition. The overall goal of our current work is to characterize patterns of genetic mutations in young patients as compared to those in older patients. Ultimately, we hope to be able to identify unique genetic events that contribute to the development of colon cancer in young patients which then potentially will allow us to identify patients and develop personalized treatment strategies.

What are your goals for your future?

I will be finished with my fellowship this year and hope to continue my work in academic medicine. I would also like to continue my outcomes research with a focus in decision-making analysis

Give us a sense of the excitement and enthusiasm you have felt as your research as moved forward.  Do you think we’re close to a breakthrough?  What would a breakthrough mean for millions of people?

Our current work has indeed been very exciting, particularly the opportunity to apply cutting-edge molecular technology to help answer our research question. Our work is still in its early stages but our findings do suggest that there are indeed differences in the biology of colorectal cancer between younger and older patients. A definitive breakthrough in this area could potentially lead to novel methods for prevention, detection and treatment of early age onset colorectal cancer which in turn, may lead to saving numerous lives.


For those who may not have the scientific background that you do, why is it so important that we all support the research being done in the field of colon cancer treatment and prevention?

Most people don’t realize that in men and women combined, colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in this country. It is a significant health problem and continuing research efforts to improve prevention, screening and treatment will have an enormous impact.