Siblings Needed For Colon Cancer Study

Siblings Recruited for Colon Cancer Study

Trial Looks at Family Links to Disease

Researchers throughout the United States are recruiting siblings who’ve had colon or rectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyps, to discover what increases a person’s risk for developing the diseases.

The Colon Sibling Pair Study, which hopes to recruit 500 sibling pairs from 12 study sites by December 2004, is searching for similarities and differences in genetic material and lifestyle information, says David Nilson, multi-site coordinator for the study.

The goal of the study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Genetics Network, is to identify new genes and environmental factors that cause colon cancer within families.

New causes

In patients who have a family history of colon cancer, sometimes the cause is directly related to genetics, but more often it is due to a combination of factors including genetics, lifestyle and the environment, says Louise C. Strong, M.D., principal investigator on the study at M. D. Anderson and chief of the Section of Clinical Cancer Genetics in the Department of Molecular Genetics.

“We hope to identify new genes and other risk factors that contribute to the development of colon cancer,” Strong says. “Then families may be screened for these risk factors in the future.”

The participation of families willing to share their information and DNA samples is the most important element in making this study a success.

Trial participation

The study requires that participants:

Answer two questionnaires, including one about lifestyle behaviors

Provide one-time blood sample

Give permission for researchers to examine tissue samples from any previous surgeries

Sibling pairs in the study:

Must consist of at least two living siblings (including half-siblings), older than 20 who both have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or certain types of precancerous polyps

Do not have to live in the same state as the other sibling

Do not have to live in the same location as the study site

Are not required to visit their study site (questionnaires, blood and tissue samples can be sent by mail)

People with the following inherited conditions are excluded from the study:

Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)

Juvenile polyposis (JP)

Peutz-Jegher’s (PJ) syndrome

The study is being conducted at the following sites:

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah University of Colorado, Denver, Colo. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M. Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Mich. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. Duke University, Durham, N.C. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pa. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas The Cancer Therapy and Research Center, San Antonio, Texas University of California, Irvine, Calif. To participate in this study or for more information, call the M. D. Anderson study coordinator at (713) 792-2588 or (877) 900-8894, or visit the study website.

As seen on CancerWise cancerwise.org

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