Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UT Southwestern program identifies families at high risk for colorectal cancer

01.09.2011
UT Southwestern Medical Center has developed a new lifesaving genetic screening program for families at high risk of contracting colorectal cancer, a deadly yet highly preventable form of cancer.

The joint effort between UT Southwestern and Parkland Memorial Hospital allows doctors to screen the tumors of colorectal cancer patients younger than 70, and uterine cancer patients younger than 55, to determine if there is a high risk for a genetic cancer predisposition syndrome. If a predisposition syndrome is found, patients are encouraged to bring in as many family members as possible for testing.

"If we can bring in family members of those who have been diagnosed, we have a chance to catch their colon cancer early and even prevent it," said Dr. Samir Gupta, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and head of the high-risk colorectal cancer clinic started at Parkland this year.

Through this unusual tumor-testing protocol, 11 patients have already been identified with Lynch syndrome, one of the more common inherited conditions, accounting for 3 percent to 5 percent of all colon cancers. The colorectal cancer clinic's aim is to test up to 50 family members among the 11 patients for the same condition. Those with Lynch syndrome have an 80 percent risk of contracting colorectal cancer, up to 60 percent risk for uterine cancer and higher than average risks for other cancer types.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer killer after lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. In light of this, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas recently awarded UT Southwestern a $1.5 million grant to further its genetic testing efforts. The grant, whose principal investigator is Dr. David Euhus, professor of surgical oncology, funds family history assessments and genetic counseling among low-income and minority communities in Dallas and five surrounding counties, focusing on those at risk for Lynch and hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndromes.

"If a parent has Lynch syndrome, there's a 50 percent chance one of their kids will also get it," said Linda Robinson, genetic counselor supervisor at UT Southwestern. "We're sometimes the first people telling them they're not going to die of cancer. We know what it's caused by, and we can prevent it."

Although hereditary colorectal cancer is rare, its family impact can be widespread. Cancer tends to develop rapidly in those with Lynch syndrome and is often undiagnosed until the disease is advanced. But with early screenings and monitoring, the syndrome does not have to be a death sentence.

"I think I'll live a long time," said Regina Ontiveroz, a 34-year-old Flower Mound woman who was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome through a blood test at UT Southwestern last year.

Ms. Ontiveroz lost her father, grandmother, two uncles and an aunt to cancer. She always suspected a hereditary factor, which was confirmed two years ago when a cousin with cancer was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome. "It's like this dark cloud that follows me wherever I go," she said.

But Ms. Ontiveroz, a nurse, has never been diagnosed with cancer. She credits UT Southwestern's genetic counseling program, a healthy lifestyle and annual screenings. Recently, she had a hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries as another preventive measure.

"That's the benefit of genetic testing. Not only was she aware she was at risk of getting cancer, she could act and get ahead of the game," said Heather Fecteau, a genetic counselor at UT Southwestern.

A blood test will reveal if a person has any of the four mutated genes associated with Lynch syndrome. For the diagnosed family member, the recommendations are for annual or every-other-year colonoscopies starting at age 25 and, for women, removal of ovaries and the uterus after child-bearing age. Other cancer screenings may be suggested, depending on the specific genetic mutation.

If cancer runs in the family, or a family member was diagnosed at an unusually young age for that cancer type, genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes may be recommended. Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/cancer to learn more about UT Southwestern's clinical services in cancer, including genetic testing, or call 866-460-4673.

This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html

To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via email, subscribe at www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews

Debbie Bolles | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>