The Colon Cancer Sibling Pair Study

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: February 3, 2004

The Colon Sibling Pair Study sponsored by The National Cancer Genetics Network has been developed to help researchers better understand what causes colon or rectal cancer. For this project, researchers are interested in studying brothers and sisters who have had colon or rectal cancer. Many research studies need more participants than any one cancer research center can enroll. Therefore, the national network is made up of eight major sites, each selected by the National Cancer Institute for the excellence of their work in cancer genetics.

There are no costs associated with participation.

Who is being invited into the University of Pennsylvania Colon Cancer Sibling Pair Study?

You will be invited to be in this study if:
    You and one of your siblings have had colon or rectal cancer.

What benefits will I receive by being in this study?

As part of this study, your tumor will be studied for markers of hereditary risk. If testing finds that you have genetic risk to develop cancer, this information could be extremely useful for you and your family. Tailored follow-up recommendations can be made to help prevent cancer from developing. In addition, the information learned may help future generations.

What will I be asked to do if I join the Sibling Pair Study?

  1. Fill out forms: You will be asked to complete a form to agree to participate in this study and a second form to allow us to obtain medical records for your cancer diagnosis and a small amount of the colon or rectal cancer tissue that was removed during surgery (if you had surgery).
  2. Complete a questionnaire: You will be asked to complete a questionnaire that asks about your health and medical history.
  3. Give a blood sample
  4. Discuss participation: You will be asked to discuss participation in this study with at least one brother or sister with colon or rectal cancer.

What are the risks of participating?

You may have some mild pain when your blood is drawn.

Discussion about inherited risk for developing colon or rectal cancer may cause concern or anxiety. If you or your family has concerns about your genetic status or want more information about your inherited risk for developing cancer, study personnel can refer you to experts for genetic counseling. There could be an additional cost to you for this service.

How is my confidentiality protected?

Every effort will be made to protect your confidentiality. All your information obtained for this study will be kept private. Study staff takes great care to make sure that your study information stays private.

How can I join the study?

You can find out if this study is right for you by contacting Rhonda Kitlas Gillette, Research Coordinator for the Colon Sibling Pair Study, at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, toll free at 1-888-666-6002 or via email at