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Research and Clinical Trials

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Weill Cornell Cancer Center

Research and Clinical Trials

Weill Cornell has an active research program with the goal of better understanding the biology of colorectal cancer and developing more effective treatments for the disease. Patients may be offered participation in a clinical trial for which they may be eligible.

Find a colon/rectal cancer clinical trial at the Weill Cornell Cancer Center.

Areas of Research

Examples of research include:

  • Research to see if stimulating the immune system after open colorectal surgery improves outcomes. A study comparing laparoscopic-assisted surgery to the conventional procedure for treatment of colorectal cancer indicated that performing these surgeries laparoscopically preserves the body's immune system. Research on tumor vaccines administered pre-operatively is also being conducted to determine if they are effective in fighting and killing any tumor cells that may remain after surgery.
  • Patients with advanced colorectal cancer benefit from collaborations between surgeons and liver cancer specialists, who are conducting research using a radio-labeled monoclonal antibody to identify sites where the cancer may have spread. The liver is a common site for colorectal cancer metastases.
  • Genetic researchers are conducting research to identify genetic markers which may indicate which patients with cancer that has not spread beyond the colon may benefit from certain chemotherapy drugs and which may not, sparing some of them from the side effects of treatments that may not be beneficial for them.
  • Similar studies are being performed to see if some patients with a hereditary susceptibility to colorectal cancer might be able to reduce their risk by taking statins (drugs routinely prescribed to lower cholesterol, which may also have anticancer properties).
  • Genetics researchers obtain tumor tissue from all patients with colorectal cancer to identify genetic markers that may be used to better understand the biology of the disease.
  • Clinical researchers are evaluating the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies combined with chemotherapy and chemotherapy combined with radiation for colorectal cancer patients, as well as assessing the effectiveness of new targeted agents.
  • Investigators are providing information on the importance of colorectal cancer screening to women undergoing screening mammograms, to try to increase colorectal cancer screening in women.
  • Patients with Lynch syndrome are being surveyed about their attitudes and understanding of the syndrome, prenatal testing, and different reproductive options.

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