Colorectal Cancer Research

From Research to Therapies: Colorectal Cancer Research at City of Hope

Getting treated for colorectal cancer at City of Hope means you are steps away from labs where new treatments are being developed every day. That proximity means you will benefit from something unique in cancer care — bench to bedside treatment. "Bench to bedside" means exciting new research we are conducting in our labs is moved quickly to the bedside to treat our patients.

Colorectal cancer is an extremely complex disease that can act many different ways in the body. Clinical trials at City of Hope are focused on those differences — and designing therapies that affect how colorectal cancer develops, progresses and spreads:

  • A City of Hope study is looking at a new combination of chemotherapy drugs that target a mutation (a problem with a cell) called BRAF that causes tumors. This mutation is found in 5-10% of patients with colorectal cancer and tends to resist chemotherapy and lead to poor overall survival. This study is testing whether adding a new combination of chemotherapy drugs will shrink tumors and improve survival for patients.
  • Some patients have metastatic colorectal cancer — cancer that has spread to other parts of the body — that stops responding to chemotherapy drugs. A new study involves giving patients high doses of new, experimental drugs called nintedanib and capecitabine. This drug combination will be studied to see how well it works in patients whose cancer has not responded well to multiple other treatments.
  • A study at City of Hope is testing two new chemotherapy drugs, MEDI4736 and tremelimumab, for colorectal cancer patients whose tumors have figured out how to outsmart the immune system.
  • City of Hope researchers developed and tested a chemotherapy drug, COH29, that aims to prevent cancer cells from copying themselves and dividing. The drug was tested in patients with colon cancer, as well as ovarian, pancreatic, stomach and lung cancers.
  • Patients who have a malignant bowel obstruction, or a blockage in the bowels because of cancer or treatment for cancer, may be treated either with surgery or nonsurgical treatment. Both strategies are considered standard of care. This study compares two groups of patients with this condition and the quality of life of those who are treated with surgery and those who receive the best medical management and no surgery.
  • Tissue from patients who have had their colon and/or rectum removed in a surgery gives researchers valuable clues about how to treat the many different types of colorectal cancer. In a study at City of Hope, tissue left over after colorectal surgery will be studied to see how certain types of cancer behave and how best to treat them.
  • City of Hope has a study looking at the psychological and social impact on patients who were cancer free for a long time, then had their colorectal cancer come back in an advanced stage.

In addition to these clinical trials, City of Hope has several others that will open soon that look at new therapies for patients with specific mutations called RAS, and will explore new immunotherapy approaches, which is a way of helping the patient’s own immune system fight cancer.

Learn more about our clinical trials.