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 release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>