Fred Hutch researchers are investigating new tests that could dramatically improve colorectal cancer screening:
Early detection of colon cancer - Dr. Paul Lampe’s laboratory specializes in finding cancer-specific signatures in blood samples to serve as diagnostic biomarkers for detecting disease. While the lab is interested in finding biomarker panels for multiple cancers, Dr. Jon Ladd is focusing on early detection of colorectal cancer and recently published results in Gut this month. Learn more >
Improving early detection – Dr. William Grady is working to identify the earliest detectable changes in normal colon cells that become cancerous. Through those findings, he hopes to develop a safe and accurate colorectal cancer test that analyzes blood or stool samples. The goal is to encourage more people to get screened for colorectal cancer and use the more-invasive colonoscopy procedure for higher-risk cases. Grady is also studying how mutations in certain genes cause colorectal cancer to grow, which could lead to new treatments. Learn more >
Insights into colon polyps and cancer - Dr. Yanxin Luo and colleagues in the laboratory of Dr. William Grady conducted a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation changes in colon tissues, adenomas and cancer samples to identify three subtypes of colorectal cancers. They identified unique polyp subgroups that may be the precursors for specific molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer. Learn more >
Routine tests and health care costs —Dr. Scott Ramsey has found that colorectal cancer patients diagnosed through a routine test to detect blood in the stool have less advanced disease and significantly lower health care costs than those diagnosed because of symptoms. Learn more >
Using biomarkers for early detection — Dr. Ziding Feng and Dr. Mark Thornquist lead the Early Detection Research Network, which aims to determine how biomarkers might help assess a person's cancer risk and catch cancers earlier.
Testing for subtypes of colorectal cancer — Dr. Polly Newcomb is leading a team to study serrated colorectal cancer, an aggressive subtype of colorectal cancer, to look at the distribution of genetic variants compared to other forms of colorectal cancer and the screening history and clinical factors. Learn more >