Our Impact

Oncofertility Consortium Webinar: Preserving Fertility After Colorectal Cancer

The Oncofertility Consortium is a network of medical specialists, scientists, and scholars dedicated to exploring the reproductive future of cancer survivors. In this webinar, Dr. Andreana Holowatyj discusses trends in early-onset colorectal cancer, how cancer therapies can differentially impact younger patients, and how the PREFACE study aims to address fertility concerns for these patients.

Holowatyj receives National Cancer Institute MERIT Award

"'As the number of adults within their childbearing years diagnosed with, treated for and surviving colorectal cancer continues to rise, reproductive health concerns remain an unmet need within this growing patient population. Funding from this NCI MERIT award directly supports our research that aims to close this gap and ultimately lead to incorporating reproductive health care into routine clinical management of early-onset colorectal cancer and to improve our patient outcomes,' Holowatyj said."

JCO After Hours Podcast: Racial/Ethnic Differences Discovered in Multigene Germline Testing of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Dr. Shannon Westin and her guest, Dr. Andreana Holowatyj, discuss the paper "Clinical Multigene Panel Testing Identifies Racial and Ethnic Differences in Germline Pathogenic Variants Among Patients With Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer," recently published in JCO.

Early-onset colorectal cancer germline genetic differences identified by race, ethnicity

'"As the incidence rates of early-onset colorectal cancer continue to rise and yield a disproportionate impact across diverse populations, our findings draw timely attention to the need for health equity considerations in multi-gene panel testing development,' said the study's corresponding author, Andreana Holowatyj, Ph.D., MSCI, assistant professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center."

Clinical Multigene Panel Testing Identifies Racial and Ethnic Differences in Germline Pathogenic Variants Among Patients With Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer

"Germline genetic features differed by race/ethnicity in young patients with CRC, suggesting that current multigene panel tests may not be representative of EOCRC risk in diverse populations. Further study is needed to optimize genes selected for genetic testing in EOCRC via ancestry-specific gene and variant discovery to yield equitable clinical benefits for all patients and to mitigate inequities in disease burden." - Dr. Holowatyj and colleagues 

Seeking Clues to Early-onset Colorectal Cancer

Understanding the biological underpinnings of early-onset colorectal cancer has been a major focus of Andreana N. Holowatyj, PhD, MS, assistant professor of medicine and cancer biology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. In a study published this month in AACR journal Cancer Discovery, Holowatyj and colleagues explained that while the cause of early-onset colorectal cancer is unknown, multiple factors likely contribute, including diet, social determinants of health, and genetics.

Racial/ethnic and sex differences in somatic cancer gene mutations among patients with early-onset colorectal cancer

There were significant differences for LRP1B, FLT4, FBXW7, RNF43, ATRX, APC and PIK3CA mutation frequencies in early-onset non-hypermutated CRCs between racial/ethnic groups. Heterogeneities by race/ethnicity were observed for the effect of APC, FLT4 and FAT1 between early-onset and late-onset non-hypermutated CRC. By sex, heterogeneity was observed for the effect of EP300, BRAF, WRN, KRAS, AXIN2 and SMAD2. Males and females with non-hypermutated CRC had different trends in EP300 mutations by age group.

4th Annual Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer International Symposium

The entire colorectal cancer community was invited to tune into FightCRC's virtual international symposium on early-onset colorectal cancer in June 2022. In the Panel defining 'Novel and unique dimensions from early-onset CRC', Dr. Holowatyj presented on "Fertility and sexual health after early-onset colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment: Results from the REACT Study".