An Ontario-led team of international scientists has helped find the first genetic predictor for colorectal cancer, a discovery that heralds a new era of screening for the second deadliest form of cancer in the country.
The finding could lead to a test for the thousands of Canadians who have family members with the disease, making it easier to predict their likelihood of getting colorectal cancer and, ultimately, helping to prevent it.
After sifting through more than 100,000 pieces of genetic material, the Canadian team identified a specific site on Chromosome 8 associated with colorectal cancer. The site increases a person’s risk of getting colorectal cancer by about 20 per cent.
- Previous studies have linked the same site to prostate cancer and to breast cancer, which means it could be responsible for a multitude of common cancers.