Nearly 16% of colon cancer patients have inherited gene, Mayo Clinic study finds

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Family genes play a significant role in the development of colon cancer, according to a study recently published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Researchers from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic used a sequencing panel that included more than 80 cancer-causing or predisposing genes to test 361 colorectal cancer patients who received care at Mayo Clinic cancer centers between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2020. Standard sequencing panels for colorectal cancer include a maximum of just 20 genes, researchers note. 

Findings showed 15.5 percent of the patients had an inherited cancer-related gene mutation, and that more than 60 percent of these cases wouldn't have been detected using a standard guideline-based approach. 

"We also found that over 1 in 10 of these patients had modifications in their medical or surgical therapy based on the genetic findings," said Niloy Jewel Samadder, MD, senior author, and gastroenterologist and hepatologist at Mayo Clinic. 

"Though the most common mutations were found in genes typically associated with colorectal cancer, we found that a substantial number of mutations were present in genes typically associated with breast and ovarian cancer," he added. "This may lead to novel targeted therapies based on the cancer's unique genetic basis. For example, where a breast cancer drug can be used in a patient with colon cancer."

To view the full study, click here

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