Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Risk Evaluation Program


Premier Research Program

Our Gastrointestinal Risk Evaluation Program is backed by one of the leading gastrointestinal cancer research programs in the country. Every day, Penn scientists and physicians work to increase our knowledge about gastrointestinal cancer and to find new ways to prevent and treat this disease. Our GI scientists have one of the only multi-investigator translational research grants from the National Cancer Institute on the molecular mechanisms underlying squamous cell carcinogenesis in the esophagus, and have recently submitted a multimillion dollar Specialized Program of Research Exellence grant on gastrointestinal cancer, an interdisciplinary research effort to improve diagnostic, screening and prognostic and therapeutic strategies for pancreatic cancer. Because of these efforts, research advances can more quickly benefit our patients.

Is Genetic Testing Right for You or Your Family?

Genetic testing is a process in which the inherited genetic material, called DNA, is carefully tested for alterations. DNA is obtained from a simple blood test. Certain families may benefit from genetic testing for specific inherited conditions. Penn's GI Risk Evaluation Program offers genetic testing for families with a history of FAP, HNPCC and other conditions. If you are eligible for genetic testing, the choice is yours. Our program provides education about the benefits, limitations and potential drawbacks of genetic testing to help you make the decision that is right for you.

Participation in Familial Research

In addition to protecting you and your family members, your participation in the GI Cancer Risk Evaluation Program may play an important role in our study of the genetic causes of cancer. The information you provide about yourself and your family history may contribute to the development of new methods of cancer prevention, early detection and treatment. Penn is involved in multiple innovative research studies in chemoprevention (lowering cancer risk by taking certain medications), genetics and clinical screening. Talk with your doctor about which trials may be appropriate for you to consider.