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Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in the US, with about 150,000 new cases and 56,000 deaths occurring annually. With that in mind, the Center for Colon Cancer Research (CCCR) was established with funding from the National Institutes of Health Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant with the expressed purpose of providing new investigators with the guidance, financial support and front-line research technologies they need to make the break through discoveries that will lead to improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of colorectal cancer. CCCR is the first of its kind in South Carolina and is a driving force leading the development of innovative and groundbreaking research in colorectal cancer. By providing state-of-the-art technology, senior faculty mentors, and an infrastructure that offers multiple opportunities for academic and professional growth, it is the aim of CCCR to foster the progression of young scientists into independent investigators supported by peer-reviewed grants.

The Center for Colon Cancer Research was founded in 2002, with funding from an $11 million National Institutes of Health Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant. This grant was renewed in 2007 following a competitive process, and an additional $10.7 million was awarded through 2012. Very recently, the CCCR was successful once again, and will receive $5.4 million for the period 2013-2018.

CCCR research projects are supported by several core facilities, including:

Mouse Core
Biometry Core
Histology and Imaging Core
Staff/Administrative Core
Biorepository Core

In addition to fostering basic research, the CCCR has developed a robust outreach program aimed at promoting knowledge of colorectal cancer, and the importance of preventive screening. Awareness, education, and screening programs throughout South Carolina have been funded by agencies such as the BlueCross BlueShield Foundation of South Carolina, the South Carolina Legislature, the American Cancer Society, the Duke Endowment, and the South Carolina Cancer Alliance. Partnerships with the South Carolina Gastroenterology Association, CVS Caremark, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina have been instrumental in promoting screening in medically underserved communities across the State. As a consequence, South Carolina has rapidly become a national leader in statewide advocacy efforts aimed at increasing screening rates and reduce the morbidity of colorectal cancer.