Hereditary colorectal cancer

H. T. Lynch, T. C. Smyrk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The question, 'Is cancer hereditary?' has been answered beyond any doubt through the discovery of germ-line cancer-causing mutations in a subset of colorectal cancers (CRCs). Clearly, this authentication of the role of genetics was not solely dependent on molecular genetic studies, since hereditary cancer syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) had been known for at least 100 years, but molecular advances are clarifying and refining clinical impressions. Have clinicians acted on the importance of hereditary factors in cancer so that this knowledge might be translated into patient benefit? Data showing that 59% of patients with FAP still die of metastatic CRC suggest that the answer is no.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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