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The Shirley Cuff Colon Cancer Research Fund

Colon cancer prevention research study

Most colon cancers are initiated by a mutation to a single gene (called Apc). When Apc is mutated, the Apc protein is truncated, the colon stem cells carrying this mutation form new crypts and consequentially adenomas.

Adenomatous polyps (adenomas) of the colon and rectum are benign (non cancerous) growths, but may be precursor lesions to colorectal cancer. Polyps greater than one centimeter in diameter are associated with a greater risk of cancer. If polyps are not removed, they continue to grow and can become cancerous.

Over a long time period the colon adenoma stem cells may accumulate other oncogenic mutations transforming to metastatic colon carcinomas. Our preliminary studies aim to identify targeted drug combinations which can kill colon adenomatous carcinoma cells.

Our researchers believe that targeted drug combinations can be optimized for improving the treatment of advanced colon cancer.

The combination may also be effective for removing adenomatous cells and thus preventing the formation of colon cancer cells.

Professor Antony Burgess

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research