The Health Center’s equipment used to study precancerous colon tissue will be upgraded, thanks to this year’s UConn Cancer Research Golf Tournament.
Organized by volunteers, the 2005 tournament raised more than $153,000 during the summer to improve the equipment used to study microscopic, molecular characteristics of precancerous colon tissue.
Since 1999, the annual event has raised nearly $780,000 for cancer research at the Health Center. Every tournament has been led by Mark Yellin of Farmington.
“This volunteer group is truly dedicated to raising maximum dollars with minimum overhead costs,” says Michelle Green, associate director of donor relations for the Health Center and coordinator of the event. “They are absolutely committed to the goal of advancing cancer research.”
Every spring, Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, meets with the committee and presents proposals for support. This year, she asked the committee to raise funds for a new laser capture microdissection instrument, to analyze genetic material within colon tissue samples. This complements last year’s efforts to purchase a mass
spectrometer, a key piece of equipment for advanced cancer research.
“Central to our understanding
of how colon cancer develops is our ability to look at the earliest, molecular changes within colon “tissue,” says Daniel Rosenberg, “co-director of the Health Center’s Colon Cancer Prevention Program.
This month, the Colon Cancer Prevention Program will offer individuals and families personalized colon cancer prevention strategies; screening tests such as advanced, precision colonoscopy; and opportunities to participate in clinical trials looking at new approaches to cancer prevention.
“Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers among women and men in the U.S.,” says Runowicz, who is also president-elect of the American Cancer
“However, we know
that by removing precancerous growths called polyps, we can actually prevent colon cancer.
“Our research poses many exciting new possibilities about detecting precancerous cells long before polyps even form, and better yet, preventing colon cancer from ever presenting,” she adds.
For information about the tournament or to make a donation to cancer research, call 860-679-4673.