Genetics and lifestyle calculator reveals which young adults are most at risk for colorectal cancer

NEW YORK, January 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — According to an international study, a new risk score can identify men and women under the age of 50 most likely to develop colon or rectal cancer.

(PRNewsfoto/NYU School of Medicine)

The score, a number between 0 and 1, is established from a calculation of the risk of developing cancers in one or another of the organs of the digestive tract on the basis of 141 genetic variants (changes in the DNA code ) more common in people with the disease. This so-called polygenic risk score is then added to a parallel risk calculation based on 16 lifestyle factors known to increase the risk of bowel cancer, including smoking, age and amount of fiber. food and red meat consumed.

Colon and rectal cancer rates have increased among young adults in United States, as well as many other nations. In the United States alone, rates increased each year from 2011 to 2016 by 2% among people under 50.

Led by researchers from NYU Langone Health and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, the new study showed that those with the highest combined polygenetic and environmental risk scores, or the top third, were four times more likely to develop colorectal cancers than men and women who scored in the last third.

“The results of our study help address the rising rates of colorectal cancer in young adults by United States and other developed countries, and show that it is possible to identify those most at risk of contracting the disease,” says the study’s co-principal investigator. Richard HayesPhD, DDS, MPH.

Posted in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in line January 13, the study involved a comparison of 3,486 adults under the age of 50 who developed bowel cancer between 1990 and 2010 with 3,890 similar young men and women without the disease. All have participated in research studies on the follow-up of people with cancer in North America, Europe, Israeland Australia.

Hayes, a professor in the departments of population health and environmental medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, cautions that his team’s tool is not yet ready for clinical use. Before it can be widely adopted, he says further testing is needed in larger trials to refine the model, describe how it can best be used by doctors, and demonstrate that, when used, the scoring system can actually prevent disease and death.

Hayes says it’s still unclear why the number of colorectal cancers is increasing in young adults. In contrast, the number of cases in the elderly has dropped significantly due to advances in screening and increased removal of suspicious growths before they turn into cancer.

Yet, he notes, colorectal cancer kills more than 53,000 people every year in United States. And that’s why the American Cancer Society and federal guidelines now recommend starting routine screening at age 45.

“Our ultimate goal is to have a predictive test so that all people can assess when, based on their own genetic and personal health factors, they should start routine colorectal cancer screening,” says Hayes. Ideally, doctors need a tool that can be used long before warning signs appear, such as abdominal pain, low blood counts and rectal bleeding.

The latest survey analyzed data collected from 13 cancer studies in United States, Canadathe UK, Germany, Spain, Israeland Australia.

Currently, more than 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon and rectal cancers each year.

Financial support for the scoring study was provided by National Institutes of Health grants R03CA21577502, U01CA164930, R01CA201407, P30CA016087, P30CA015704, P20CA252728, and T32HS026120.

Besides Hayes, other NYU Langone researchers involved in the study are the study’s principal investigator. Alexei Archambaultnow at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Basking Ridge, New Jersey; and co-investigators Anne Zeliniuch-Jacquotte, MD, MS; and Pierre Liang, MD, MPH. Other study co-investigators are Jihyoun JeonPhD, MS, at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; Y Lin, MS; Minta ThomasPhD, MPhil; Tabitha Harrison, MPH; and Polly NewcombePhD, MPH, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washing.; D. Timothy BishopPhD, MSC, at the University of Leeds UK; Hermann BrennerMD; Jenny Chang-Claudedoctorate; Feng Guo, PhD, MSc; and Michael HoffmeisterPhD, at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg; Graham Casey, doctorate; and LiliMD, PhD, at the University of Virginia in Charlotteville; Andrew ChanMD, MPH; Song MingyangScD, MS, to Harvard University in Boston; Jane FigueiredoPhD, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Steven GallingerMD, MSc, at the University of Toronto in Canada; Steven GruberMD, PhD, at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California.; Marc Gunter, doctorate; and Neil MurphyPhD, at the World Health Organization in Lyon, France; Marc Jenkins, doctorate; and Aung Ko WinPhD, MPH, at the University of Melbourne in Australia; Temitope KekuPhD, MSPH, MSc, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Loic Le MarchandMD, PhD, at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu; Victor MorenaPhD, at the University of Barcelona in Spain; Rish Pai, MD, PhD, at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Patrick Parfrey, MD; and Michael WoodsPhD, at the University of Newfoundland in Saint John, Canada; Gad RennerMD, PhD, at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa; Lori Sakoda, PhD, MPH; and Jeffrey Lee, MD, DSS; and Douglas CorleyMD, PhD, MPH, at Kaiser Permanente Northern California at Oakland; Martha SlateryPhD, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City; Peter CampbellPhD, MSc, at the American Cancer Society of Atlanta; Yu-Ru Su, PhD, MS, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle; Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar, doctorate; and Elizabeth PetersePhD, at Erasmus University Medical center in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Yin CaoScD, MPH, AT University of Washington in Saint Louis, Mo.; Memgmemg Du, ScD, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City; and co-principal investigators of the study Li Hsu, doctorate; and Ulrike PetersPhD, MPH, at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Media inquiries:
David Mars
[email protected]



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SOURCE NYU Langone Health

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