Improving colorectal cancer prevention for people with Lynch syndrome

A new study to improve colorectal cancer prevention for people with Lynch syndrome  has received funding from Cancer Council Victoria; led by researchers based at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR).

Dan Buchanan UMCCR

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia, and a leading cause of cancer-related mortality. Lynch syndrome, a hereditary cancer syndrome, accounts for 5 per cent of all colorectal cancers in Australia, however the mechanisms of colorectal cancer development in Lynch Syndrome are not well understood.

Associate Professor Dan Buchanan, head of the Colorectal Oncogenomics Lab at the UMCCR, said that the study will inform improved colonoscopy practices to catch colorectal cancer earlier in patients with Lynch Syndrome

"Colonoscopy is recommended every one to two years to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer development, but despite this close surveillance it does not prevent cancer development in some people with Lynch Syndrome.

"This project will use whole exome sequencing to explore recent evidence of a novel pathway which underlies colorectal cancer development in people with Lynch syndrome.

"It could be a game-changer for clinical management of the disease, informing the development of new colorectal cancer prevention strategies for this high-risk community."

Professor Mark Jenkins and Professor Alex Boussioutas, also of the UMCCR, are also involved in the study, as well as Professor Ingrid Winship, Professor Finlay Macrae, and Associate Professor Christophe Rosty of University of Melbourne.