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UT Southwestern, Parkland partner for $6.3 million NCI grant to improve colorectal cancer screenings
Date:10/9/2011

DALLAS Oct. 10, 2011 The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has selected UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System as a national site to improve screening for colorectal cancer, the nation's No. 3 cancer killer.

The five-year, $6.3 million NCI grant establishes the Parkland-UT Southwestern PROSPR Center as part of a three-site network for colorectal cancer screening. The UT Southwestern-Parkland partnership, which hopes to reach more than 32,000 Dallas County residents age 50 and older, is unique because its screening effort will focus on people who lack insurance or are underinsured.

The NCI's PROSPR designation stands for Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personal Regimens. Other colorectal cancer PROSPR sites are in California and Washington. In all, the NCI is establishing nine to 12 PROSPR sites around the country to examine and improve screening processes for colorectal, breast and cervical cancers.

Leading the Dallas core are two UT Southwestern investigators: Dr. Celette Sugg Skinner, associate director of the Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center, and Dr. Ethan Halm, chief of general internal medicine and professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences. Their goal is twofold: to optimize colon cancer screening among Dallas residents and to develop a model for screening that can be used by public hospitals nationwide.

"The earlier we can detect cancers, the better we are able to treat them," said Dr. Skinner, a professor of clinical sciences at UT Southwestern. "Late-stage cancer is harder to treat, and there is no reason why people with less insurance should bear a disproportionate burden of cancer."

There are more than 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer in the U.S. each year and nearly 50,000 deaths. But the disease, like breast and cervical cancer, can often be cured if caught early.

"Screening for colon cancer has the potential to virtually elim
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Contact: Jeff Carlton
jeffrey.carlton@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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