ResearchMatch (RM) and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) have joined forces to establish a partnership to improve the quality of life of the adults and children affected with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
ResearchMatch (RM) is the first platform in the United States focused on recruiting and engaging volunteers that might be interested in participating in research. It is a nationwide, disease-neutral web-based platform to centralize and reunite individuals willing to participate in research with the scientist. The site is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) programs. Furthermore, the CTSA program is conducted by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), but the website content is not under the NIH’s jurisdiction, but rather is contributed by Vanderbilt University and ResearchMatch.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest non-profit and voluntary health organization committed to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). The Foundation’s mission is to find cures for both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis while improving the quality of the lives of children and adults suffering with such conditions. The CCFA funds research projects, provides educational resources for patients and families that deal with the disease, and offers medical professionals and support services.
IBD affects about 1.6 million people in the United States. It is not completely clear what are the exact causes of these chronic conditions. Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are diseases that last for patients’ entire lives, and the scientific community believes that the chronic diseases have something to do with genetic interactions, the immune system, and environmental factors. There is no cure for IBD; it can only be treated and managed.
Many advances regarding these diseases have been achieved, however, research volunteers are still needed to help achieve other important landmarks that can improve patient outcomes. Clinical trials are extremely important in this battle and this partnership will expand the number of patients that can be informed about new trials.
Caren Heller from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America said in a press release: “Participating in research is one of the best ways to expedite the search for cures for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). New research helps both doctors and patients develop greater understanding of IBD. For patients, the benefits of participating in research trials and studies may include access to new treatments, including diet, medication, and surgical procedures, and helping others by contributing to medical research.”