(HealthDay News) — Much of the genetic risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) in the general population is mediated by differential adenoma risk, according to research published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

Luis G. Carvajal-Carmona, Ph.D., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed genotype data from 1,755 adenoma cases and 3,976 controls with no colorectal disease for 18 CRC predisposition single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

The researchers found that eight of 18 known CRC-associated SNPs (rs10936599, rs6983267, rs10795668, rs3802842, rs4444235, rs1957636, rs4939827, and rs961253) were over-represented in CRC-free patients with adenomas, compared with controls. There was no significant association with adenoma risk with the other CRC-associated SNPs (rs6691170, rs6687758, rs16892766, rs7136702, rs11169552, rs4779584, rs9929218, rs10411210, rs4813802, and rs4925386).

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“Genetic susceptibility to CRC in the general population is likely to be mediated in part by predisposition to adenomas,” the authors write. “In principle, especially if further studies can assign SNPs as adenoma-predisposing, carcinoma-predisposing, or both, such variation could be used to modulate population-based CRC-prevention measures, in a way analogous to the differentmethods of prophylaxis used for familial adenomatous polyposis and Lynch syndrome.”

Pfizer and Merck both contributed funding to this research.

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