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Study Identifies 40 New Genetic Variants


Collaboration involved researchers from more than 130 institutions globally.

December 3, 2018

The most comprehensive genomewide association study, or GWAS, of colorectal cancer risk to date has discovered 40 new genetic variants and validated 55 previously identified variants that signal an increased risk of colon cancer.

The study, published today in Nature Genetics, also has identified the first rare protective variant for instances of sporadic colorectal cancer, i.e., those not associated with a known familial risk syndrome, and which account for the vast majority of colorectal cancer cases.

Genetic variants occur from differences in our DNA. Most variants are believed to be benign, some are known to be associated with various diseases, and the significance of many others is unknown. While individual genetic variants have little impact on disease risk, several combined variants can become clinically relevant, and this could have an impact on future personalized screening recommendations.

Together, the findings are a significant step toward creating personalized screening strategies and better informing drug development for colorectal cancer. The study identified several loci, the physical location of the gene on a chromosome, near proposed drug targets and genes in pathways not previously known to be causally linked to colorectal cancer.

“A study of this magnitude was possible only through collaboration with our partners from institutions around the world,” said Ulrike “Riki” Peters, PhD, MPH, associate director of the Public Health Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the institution which led the study. “Understanding the genetic architecture of colorectal cancer will revolutionize how we assess risk and treatment for this disease, which is the second most deadly cancer in the United States.”

In Pursuit of New Colorectal Cancer Treatment Targets

In 2009, Dr. Peters initiated and has since led the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, the world’s largest molecular genetic consortium for colorectal cancer. Using GWAS results to inform cancer drug development, the authors believe, could improve the drug-development success rate and even lead to chemoprevention drugs for high-risk individuals.

“There’s great potential in using GWAS results to inform target discovery for anticancer drugs. For diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, the GWAS approach drives the discovery of new biology and potential drug targets,” explained Jeroen Huyghe, PhD, who co-led the study’s statistical genetic analysis and is a staff scientist at Fred Hutch.

“To date, the search for new targets for cancer therapy has been limited to focusing primarily on the molecular characteristics of cancer cells. We think there is a huge opportunity in using the GWAS approach to inform drug development for colorectal cancer,” says Huyghe...

Click here to continue reading this article sourced from Everyday Health.

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PASYKAF Cyrpus wins ImpactPANC Award!


Empowering Caregivers of Pan Can Patients for Enhanced Patient Outcomes (EC for EPO)

Celgene launched the 2018 “ImpactPANC” competition designed to recognise and honour patient organisations that demonstrate excellence in crafting novel solutions that innovatively meet the needs of people living with pancreatic cancer and those who care for them.

2018 Theme: Supporting the Needs of Caregivers in Pancreatic Cancer

Celgene extends its sincere thanks to all WPCC organizations who participated in their 2018 ImpactPANC award program indicating that this year’s theme, “Supporting the Needs of Caregivers in Pancreatic Cancer” resulted in some outstanding submissions. They indicated that the panel of judges spent significant time reflecting upon the applications and reviewed each independently giving much consideration to the evaluation process. According to Celgene, it was a very challenging and difficult task to select the five winners of this year’s program.

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Screening for CRC may benefit male patients


According to a recent study, screening for colorectal cancer can benefit male patients, while similar benefits were not found among women. The study appeared in the British Journal of Surgery. Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the world. Every year, approximately 3,000 new cases are diagnosed, and roughly 1,200 patients die of it.

Between 2004 and 2016, an extensive screening programme was conducted in Finland, intending to study the potential benefits and downsides of a nation-wide screening for colorectal cancer.

The study targeted people aged 60-69 years, and just under half of the age group, or a little more than 300,000 people, were randomised by late 2011. Half of the population in the study was invited for screening, while the other half of the age cohort served as a control group. Faecal occult blood tests (FOBT) were used in the screening, and patients who tested positive for blood were referred for a colonoscopy.

The first study based on the screening results indicated no significant decrease in mortality, so the screenings were discontinued after 2016. However, researchers from the Helsinki University Hospital and the Finnish Cancer Registry wanted to examine whether the screening had offered benefits to patients with colorectal cancer.

"Practically no cancer screenings have been found to have an impact on overall mortality. However, they may still be useful in other ways. We wanted to study whether the patients could avoid the more intense treatments if they participated in screening for colorectal cancer," said Dr. Laura Koskenvuo.

The study examined the data of approximately 1,400 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The results indicated that among patients from the screening group, the surgical removal of an entire tumour was more commonly successful than it was among the control group patients, and they were less likely to require chemotherapy. The patients from the screening group were also less likely to undergo emergency surgery because of their tumour than the control group patients.

"The control group had 50 percent more emergency surgeries, 40 percent more incomplete tumour removals and 20 percent more chemotherapy treatments than patients in the screening group," said Adjunct Professor Ville Sallinen, gastrointestinal surgeon.

Closer inspection of the results showed that these benefits were particularly prevalent among male patients. Similar benefits were not seen among women.

Additionally, the researchers found that the screening was most efficient at detecting left-sided colorectal cancer and the screening was found to have no benefit for patients with cancer on the right side, possibly because blood seeping from tumours on the right side becomes so diluted as it travels through the colon that the gFOBT can no longer detect it.

"In the future, we must examine whether different screening techniques could improve the situation of female patients and facilitate the diagnosis of right-sided colorectal cancer," the researchers stated.

Click here to read the full article sourced from timesnownews.com

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Want to keep bowel cancer risk at bay?


Intake of aspirin and omega-3 is safe and effective at reducing chances of bowel cancer in high-risk patients, according to a new clinical trial. 

In the trial, published in the journal The Lancet, these low-cost drugs reduced the number of pre-cancerous polyps -- a small growth, usually benign -- in patients found to be at high risk of developing bowel cancer. 

The findings showed that patients who took aspirin had 22 per cent fewer polyps compared to those who took the placebo.

Although aspirin and EPA had beneficial effects on polyp numbers individually, the combination of aspirin and EPA together appeared to have an even greater effect, as it provided another layer of prevention, alongside colonoscopy, the researchers said. 

"The trial demonstrates that both aspirin and EPA have preventative effects, which is particularly exciting given that they are both relatively cheap and safe compounds to give to patients," said Mark Hull, Professor at the University of Leeds in the Uk.



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Your 'Second Brain' is in your gut


The human gut microbiome impacts human brain health in numerous ways - watch this video from Hashem Al-Ghaili and click here to see more from the Science Nature Pages Facebook page.

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EU Health Summit 2018


As we head towards the European Parliament elections in 2019, healthcare systems and citizens across Europe are facing unprecedented challenges arising from an ageing population, and increased prevalence of chronic diseases. At the same time, rapid scientific developments are leading us into a new era of innovation.

What is the role of the European Union in helping European health systems to make the most of these opportunities for the benefit of citizens and patients, while following a sustainable path?

How can different sectors converge to help ensuring a healthy future for Europe?

Join the first ever multi-stakeholder summit organised by 28 organisations from within and across the health community to discuss how Europe could develop and take the lead in areas such as research and innovation, health data and digital health, healthcare organisation and financing, as well as health in all policies.

The summit will take place on 29 November at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Brussels. To register, click here. For more information, please visit our website: www.euhealthsummit.eu

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A remarkable insight into the cancer journey of Barbara Moss


Barbara Moss speaks to Roshaine Wijayatunga, Senior Editor Oncology at the 2018 European Society for Medical Oncology World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer (ESMO GI; Barcelona).

Barbara Moss is a Patient Ambassador for EuropaColon and Bowel Cancer UK. At the age of 52, in 2006, Barbara was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer of the colon, spread to the liver and was told she had 3–5 months to live! Barbara is now an active campaigner and an active member of several organizations in the UK and Europe. Her main wish is for patients to be able to access the medicine that they need, to have choices clearly explained and to be treated personally.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Published online: 19 October 2018


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Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month is here


November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month - Turn it purple to show your support and raise awareness for this hard to fight cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is the toughest cancer to diagnose, treat and survive. 1 in 4 people do not survive for a month. 3 in 4 will not survive for a year.

Find out more about how you can support on the links below:

https://www.pancreaticcancereurope.eu
http://www.worldpancreaticcancerday.org

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Launch of Colorectal Cancer Data Map


The new interactive Colorectal Cancer Data Map is now available to view! View each countries statistics on screening, health data and registry statistics.
Our aim is to gather more information on each country to make this the number 1 source of CRC statstics for Europe.

Click here to view the heatmap.

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Living With Cancer Patient Website is now LIVE


EuropaColon has teamed up with a group of specialist writers to bring you the new Living With Cancer patient website. An online portal with information on diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and palliative care.

Click here to visit the site - www.livingwithcrc.com

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Digestive Cancers Europe
Scots House
Scots Lane
Salisbury
SP1 3TR
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1722 333 587
info@digestivecancers.eu


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