Grants - V Scholar Grants - California - 2021

Sorbarikor Piawah, MD

FUNDED BY THE STUART SCOTT MEMORIAL CANCER RESEARCH FUND WITH SUPPORT FROM BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB

For the past 20 years, the number of people under the age of 50 who are diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer has been rising very quickly, especially among Latinos living in the US and in Mexico.  In fact, it is predicted that in the next 10 years, 1 in 10 colon cancer cases, and 1 in 4 rectal cancer cases will be in people younger than the age of 50.  Currently, very little is known about the reasons behind this.  We think that the food we eat, and our behaviors may play a role in getting colon and rectal cancer.  We also think that the type of bacteria in our gut may predispose certain people to getting cancer at a younger age.   

In order to explore this, we plan to invite 90 people in California and Mexico City, who identify as Latino, and who were younger that 50 when they were diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer to participate in our study.  We will ask them to collect one stool sample at home, and will study the bacteria in that sample as well their tumors.  We will also collect detailed information about the foods they eat, and their background using surveys.  Overall, we hope to gather very important information that could help us understand why colon and rectal cancer is on the rise among younger people.  This information could also help us identify new ways of preventing colon and rectal cancer in the future.