Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with advancing age, with more than 90% of cases occurring in persons aged 50 years and older. It is estimated that there will be more than 108,000 new cases of colon cancer in 2008 and more than 49,000 deaths from colon and rectal cancer combined. Caught early, it is often curable.
Recent studies suggest that colon cancer has a genetic component. In fact, up to one in four people who have colon cancer have family members who have had the disease.
Dr. Galen Hostetter is a pathologist in TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division who is focused on bringing together cutting-edge technologies and basic research to uncover genes that play a role in the development of colon cancer. Most recently, Dr. Hostetter identified a gene called HOXA, that when altered, may have implications in colon cancer tumor growth.
Keeping in line with TGen's mission of developing earlier diagnoses and smarter treatments, Dr. Hostetter and his team are working to identify the underlying genetic components of colon cancer. This information could one day yield new insights in the development of more effective strategies for early detection, prevention and treatment of this terrible disease.
TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division
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To discuss ways to become involved and support cancer research at TGen, contact the TGen Foundation at Foundation@tgen.org, or call 602.343.8411.