We are using genetic approaches to reduce the incidence and death rate from cancer of the large bowel, and investigating how aspirin prevents cancer.
These genetic approaches aim to identify genes that predispose to the disease using family-based studies in which genes are tracked through cancer families.
We are also using association studies in which genetic markers are compared between cases and controls.
The ultimate aim is to identify people at high risk and instigate preventative measures and/or to intervene early at a time when the cancer is curable.
Understanding how defects in particular genes lead to cancer is also a major research aim, as is defining the extent of the risk and the age at which cancer onset is most likely.
By understanding which genes are associated with cancer risk, we will also be able to investigate the underlying causes of bowel cancer.