Center for Cancer Risk Assessment

Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics Program

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics Program is an integral part of the Center for Cancer Risk Assessment (CCRA). At this clinic, patients typically meet with a genetic counselor and a physician to review family and medical history. Options for genetic testing are also discussed. A referral to this clinic may be appropriate when a person has a personal or family history of the following:

  • Early-onset colorectal, uterine, stomach, or other gastrointestinal cancers
  • Multiple primary gastrointestinal cancers
  • Early-onset and/or multiple gastrointestinal polyps
  • Multiple family members with pancreatic cancer

Some cancer predisposition syndromes that may be discussed at this clinic include:

  • Lynch syndrome, also known as Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) syndrome: Individuals with Lynch syndrome are at an increased risk of colon, uterine, stomach, ovarian, small bowel and other types of cancers. The genes responsible for this syndrome are MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2.
  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) syndrome: Individuals with FAP have a greater risk of developing multiple gastrointestinal polyps and certain types of gastrointestinal cancers. The gene responsible for this syndrome is APC gene.
  • MYH-Associated Polyposis (MAP) syndrome: MAP syndrome results in an increased risk of multiple gastrointestinal polyps and colorectal cancer. The gene responsible for this syndrome is MYH.
  • Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC) syndrome: Individuals with HDGC have an increased risk of developing diffuse stomach cancer and lobular breast cancer. The gene responsible for this syndrome is CDH1.
  • Familial Pancreatic Cancer: Some families have an increased risk to develop pancreatic cancer. Depending on the other cancers in the family, genetic testing can be appropriate to help assess the risk to family members.

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics Program is held on Tuesdays. Patients are seen at Yawkey Building, Suite 7E, 55 Fruit Street, Boston. The patient coordinator can be reached at 617-724-4000.

Clinic Physicians: