Very high incidence of familial colorectal cancer in Newfoundland: A comparison with Ontario and 13 other population-based studies

Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, Canada.
Familial Cancer (Impact Factor: 1.98). 02/2007; 6(1):53-62. DOI: 10.1007/s10689-006-9104-x
Source: PubMed


Newfoundland has the highest rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) of any Canadian province. In order to investigate the factors, especially genetic components, responsible for CRC we established the Newfoundland Colorectal Cancer Registry. In a 5-year period we examined every case of CRC diagnosed under the age of 75 years and obtained consent from 730 cases. Careful analysis of family history was used to assign a familial cancer risk, based on established criteria. We observed that 3.7% of CRC cases came from families meeting the Amsterdam II criteria and a further 0.9% of cases involved familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). An additional 43% of cases met one or more of the revised Bethesda criteria and 31% of all cases had a first-degree relative affected with CRC. We compared the Newfoundland data with data from the province of Ontario, where the same recruitment and risk-assessment criteria were used. In all categories, the indicators of familial risk were significantly higher in Newfoundland. These data were also compared to results published from 13 other population-based studies worldwide. In every category the proportion of Newfoundland cases meeting the criteria was higher than in any other population. The mean differences were: 3.5-fold greater for FAP, 2.8-fold higher for Amsterdam criteria, 2.0-fold higher for Bethesda criteria and 1.9-fold higher for the number of affected first-degree relatives. We conclude that the high incidence of CRC in Newfoundland may be attributable to genetic, or at least familial, factors. In the high-risk families we provide evidence for the involvement of founder mutations in the APC and MSH2 genes.

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    • "Participants were drawn from two locations in Canada: Ottawa, Ontario (ON) and St John's, Newfoundland (NL). Ottawa is a large, mostly urban population with CRC incidence reflecting the Canadian average and overall relatively high socio-economic status, whereas St John's is a smaller urban population with a high incidence of CRC (Green et al. 2007; Woods et al. 2005) and a broader socio-economic mix. Additionally, ON and NL have different newborn screening programs in terms of both organization and number of conditions included. "
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    ABSTRACT: Including low penetrance genomic variants in population-based screening might enable personalization of screening intensity and follow up. The application of genomics in this way requires formal evaluation. Even if clinically beneficial, uptake would still depend on the attitudes of target populations. We developed a deliberative workshop on two hypothetical applications (in colorectal cancer and newborn screening) in which we applied stepped, neutrally-framed, information sets. Data were collected using nonparticipant observation, free-text comments by individual participants, and a structured survey. Qualitative data were transcribed and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Eight workshops were conducted with 170 individuals (120 colorectal cancer screening and 50 newborn screening for type 1 diabetes). The use of information sets promoted informed deliberation. In both contexts, attitudes appeared to be heavily informed by assessments of the likely validity of the test results and its personal and health care utility. Perceived benefits included the potential for early intervention, prevention, and closer monitoring while concerns related to costs, education needs regarding the probabilistic nature of risk, the potential for worry, and control of access to personal genomic information. Differences between the colorectal cancer and newborn screening groups appeared to reflect different assessments of potential personal utility, particularly regarding prevention.
    Genome 10/2013; 56(10):626-33. DOI:10.1139/gen-2013-0070 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    • "NL is one of the 13 provinces/territories in Canada and has the highest incidence of colorectal cancer as well as one of the highest cancer mortality rates in Canada [1], [28]. This population is also characterized by a high incidence rate of familial colorectal cancer [29], [30]. A strength of our study is the long period of time that patients have been followed (up to 12.5 years after cancer diagnosis). "
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    ABSTRACT: Prognosis in colorectal cancer patients is quite variable, even after adjustment for clinical parameters such as disease stage and microsatellite instability status. It is possible that the psychological distress experienced by patients, including anxiety and depression, may be correlated with poor prognosis. In the present study, we hypothesize that genetic variations within three genes biologically linked to the stress response, namely serotonin transporter (SLC6A4), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and arginine vasopressin receptor (AVPR1B) genes are associated with prognosis in colorectal cancer patients. We used a population-based cohort of 280 patients who were followed for up to 12.5 years after diagnosis. Our multivariate analysis showed that a tagSNP in the SLC6A4 gene (rs12150214) was a predictor of shorter overall survival (HR: 1.572, 95%CI: 1.142-2.164, p = 0.005) independent of stage, age, grade and MSI status. Additionally, a multivariate analysis using the combined genotypes of three polymorphisms in this gene demonstrated that the presence of any of the minor alleles at these polymorphic loci was an independent predictor of both shorter overall survival (HR: 1.631, 95%CI: 1.190-2.236, p = 0.002) and shorter disease specific survival (HR: 1.691, 95%CI: 1.138-2.512, p = 0.009). The 5-HTT protein coded by the SLC6A4 gene has also been implicated in inflammation. While our results remain to be replicated in other patient cohorts, we suggest that the genetic variations in the SLC6A4 gene contribute to poor survival in colorectal cancer patients.
    PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e38953. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0038953 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Thus, our findings may help, in part, reconcile some discrepancies in the literature in terms of the risk for CRC related to alcohol drinking and provide some evidence for assessing possible interactions between alcohol and obesity in future epidemiological studies. Another possible reason for this may be that NL is a founder population geographically isolated [30]. A higher proportion of CRC incidence in NL may be mainly attributed to genetic cause that may shade the roles of other environmental factors in the CRC carcinogenesis such as alcohol consumption [19,30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: While substantive epidemiological literature suggests that alcohol drinking and obesity are potential risk factors of colorectal cancer (CRC), the possible interaction between the two has not been adequately explored. We used a case-control study to examine if alcohol drinking is associated with an increased risk of CRC and if such risk differs in people with and without obesity. Newly diagnosed CRC cases were identified between 1999 and 2003 in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Cases were frequency-matched by age and sex with controls selected using random digit dialing. Cases (702) and controls (717) completed self-administered questionnaires assessing health and lifestyle variables. Estimates of alcohol intake included types of beverage, years of drinking, and average number of alcohol drinks per day. Odds ratios were estimated to investigate the associations of alcohol independently and when stratified by obesity status on the risk of CRC. Among obese participants (BMI ≥ 30), alcohol was associated with higher risk of CRC (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.0) relative to the non-alcohol category. Among obese individuals, 3 or more different types of drinks were associated with a 3.4-fold higher risk of CRC relative to non-drinkers. The risk of CRC also increased with drinking years and drinks daily among obese participants. However, no increased risk was observed in people without obesity. The effect of alcohol of drinking on CRC seems to be modified by obesity.
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