Dr. Neli Ulrich initiated ColoCare together with Dr. Bill Grady at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2007. Since then, several additional sites have joined the consortium:
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
German Cancer Research Center
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Moffitt Cancer Center
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Washington University School of Medicine
In addition, ColoCare has an affiliate member at the University of Heidelberg Department of Surgery (Dr. Alexis Ulrich) and participates in several international consortia.
The ColoCare Study
The ColoCare Study follows a cohort (group) of men and women who have been newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer (stages I-IV). Our main interest is in quality-of-life and in rates of cancer recurrence and death. It is the only group of colorectal cancer patients that includes the collection of clinical and risk factor data and a range of biospecimen samples (blood, urine, saliva, stool, etc) at multiple time points (before treatment and multiple times points after treatment). This allows researchers to look into how patient outcomes may be different depending on patient lifestyle/behaviors and race/ethnicity. Also, it will help researchers discover and develop new ways that an individual’s blood, urine, saliva and stool can help guide treatment options and can predict risk of cancer development and progression.
To date, ColoCare has initiated research on biologic determinants of colorectal cancer (e.g., tumor immunity, gut microbiome, epigenome), health behaviors (e.g., physical activity, obesity), surgical complications, and the interaction between these factors. Researchers are constantly coming up with new ideas to use this study data to improve colorectal cancer patient treatment and quality-of-life.