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The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable

What is the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable?

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) is a national coalition led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society.  It includes public, private, and voluntary organizations whose mission is to advance colorectal cancer control efforts by improving communication, coordination, and collaboration among health agencies, medical-professional organizations, and the public.

The ultimate goal of the Roundtable is to increase the use of recommended colorectal cancer screening tests among populations for whom screening is appropriate.  While the Roundtable focuses on colorectal cancer control, many of the initiatives, tools and evidence-based interventions developed by the Roundtable can easily be adapted to inform a broad array of cancer control activities.

Who makes up the Roundtable?

The Roundtable includes over 80 Member organizations including academic institutions, survivor groups, government agencies (CDC, NCI, CMS, AHRQ, state health departments), community health centers (NACHC), foundations (AARP, Prevent Cancer Foundation), industry leaders, medical professional societies, health insurers, and voluntary health agencies (ACS, ACS Divisions).  Participants are often nationally known experts, thought leaders, and decision makers. 

What does the Roundtable do?

The Roundtable serves as a forum for communication and developing consensus in order to advance key initiatives that can address gaps and create opportunities to improve cancer screening.  In practical terms, it stimulates collaboration and action on projects that everyone wants done, but no one is doing.  Once the Roundtable identifies a key issue, it leverages the talents of the members to conduct studies, create tools and identify emerging issues that can advance colorectal cancer control efforts.  Importantly, it has been a long standing principle of the Roundtable’s philosophy that we are careful not to compete with our member organizations or duplicate their work or mission.

It has six key areas of emphasis:

  • Developing and promoting evidence-based tools for professional education
  • Unifying efforts around public awareness
  • Working with community health centers to address disparities in CRC screening rates
  • Answering the day’s pressing policy questions
  • Improving the delivery of high quality screening
  • Providing international leadership

Notably, the Roundtable is currently advancing the “80% by 2018” movement, as part of which dozens of organizations have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of reaching 80% screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

What are some of the Roundtable’s key accomplishments and current initiatives?

Professional Education:

  • Developed “How to Increase CRC Screening Rates in Practice: A Primary Care Clinician’s Toolbox and Guide”
  • Developed Physician FOBT brochure, designed to introduce physicians to the value of FOBT screening
  • Partnering with the National Association of Community Health Centers to increase CRC screening in community health centers
  • Published strategy paper on increasing colorectal cancer screening in community health centers
  • Partnering with Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative to increase cancer screening in the patient centered medical home


  • Published a report on evidence- and consensus-based standards for the performance of high quality colonoscopy (CoRADs)
  • Published report that describes the components of a quality screening colonoscopy referral system in primary care practice
  • Published a report on the responsibilities of referring clinicians to ensure quality colonoscopy

Public Awareness:

  • Development of a unifying Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (March) strategy 
  • Development and distribution of the Blue Star universal symbol for colon cancer
  • Development and distribution of Family PLZ! campaign
  • Development of Member CRC Awareness Marketing Kit
  • Establish social media presence to support these activities


  • Conducted colonoscopy copay research project in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Commissioned research assessing state by state Medicaid coverage of preventive services that was published in Health Affairs
  • Conducted state by state assessment of prevention services within the Medicaid program
  • Developed cost model showing cost savings to Medicare program for increasing cancer screening in the under 65 population 
  • Launching assessment of GI and other specialty provider participation in the Medicaid program 
  • Recruiting high level speakers to the NCCRT annual meeting, including Reps. Patrick Kennedy Al Wynn, and CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden


  • Established the International Colorectal Cancer Screening Network (ICRCSN), an international consortium of programs, committed to improving the delivery of colorectal cancer screening to their populations
  • Published 3 manuscripts on international screening measures that allow for international comparison with the goal of improved colorectal cancer screening quality
  • With more in-depth analysis, the network can do comparative effectiveness research and give analysts the capacity to compare different tests, different screening intervals, and different criteria for positive tests.

Other Key Initiatives:

  • Developed CRC Evaluation Toolkit that includes template evaluation materials in both English and Spanish and conduct evaluation training 
  • Conduct CRC Media and online audits
  • Conduct site visits to identify emerging trends, innovations, barriers and solutions around CRC screening
  • Host key workshops with stakeholders and thought leaders to advance priority issues

In short, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and its partners work together to unify and magnify efforts around CRC.  In this way, it maximizes limited resources, pools talent and strengthens the collective energy behind CDC strategic priorities for increasing CRC screening.  Visit nccrt.org for a list of Roundtable members and to view Roundtable produced tools.

Join Us in the Fight against Colorectal Cancer

It takes many voices to create an effective coalition -- a coalition committed to raising awareness about the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer.

To learn more about the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable or how to become a member, please visit http://www.nccrt.org or email Mary Doroshenk, the NCCRT manager, at mdoroshenk@cancer.org.

Current as of: July 2013