Our Impact

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".