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Family history of colorectal cancer linked with reduced risk of cancer recurrence
Date:6/3/2008

ning just the risk for cancer recurrence, patients with a family history of colorectal cancer had a 26 percent reduced risk compared with patients without a family history. Cancer recurrence occurred in 27 percent of patients with a family history of colorectal cancer and 35 percent of patients without a family history. The reduced risk of death for patients with a family history of colorectal cancer was 25 percent.

The apparent benefit associated with family history was stronger with an increasing number of affected family members. Compared with participants without a family history of colorectal cancer, participants with two or more affected relatives had a 51 percent lower risk for cancer recurrence or death.

Beyond rare, well-characterized hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes, our data support the hypothesis that a relatively common though less penetrant genetic predisposition may not only influence colorectal cancer risk but also patient survival. This finding may reflect a distinct underlying molecular and pathogenic mechanism in cancers that develop in the setting of a common (i.e., sporadic) family history, the researchers write. Further studies are needed to more fully elucidate potential mechanisms by which a common family history may influence the outcome for patients with colorectal cancer.

(JAMA. 2008;299[21]:2515-2523. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org)

Editors Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.


Editorial: Familial Colorectal Cancer - A Genetics Treasure Trove for Medical Discovery

In an accompanying editorial, Boris Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and Contributing Editor, JAMA, comments on the results of the study by Chan and col
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Contact: Robbin Ray
617-632-4090
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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