OR08: Young adult colorectal cancer incidence trends in Europe: an important clinical and research opportunity for the European Hereditary Tumour Group

Thomas K. Weber1, Dennis Ahnen2, Christine Sardo-Molmenti3, Deborah Alsina4, Aung Ko Win5, Christopher Lieu2

1 – State University of New York Health Sciences Center, New York, NY USA. 2 – University of Colorado Cancer Center, Denver Colorado USA. 3 – Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY, NY USA. 4 – Bowel Cancer UK, London, UK. 5 – School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


To evaluate young adult (< 50 years) colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence trends across Europe and assess the potential impact of that data on the clinical and research priorities of the European Hereditary Tumour Group.


We searched PUBMED and the WHO Mortality Database for current literature on young adult (YA) CRC incidence across 34 European Countries.


Multiple references including a recent United European Gastroenterology report indicate that YA CRC accounts for over 10% of CRC cases in Europe affecting 45,000 individuals annually. YA CRC incidence is increasing including in Britain where Cancer U.K. reports a 40% increase since 2004. Over 80% of cases are symptomatic at diagnosis. Importantly, less than 20% of cases are associated with the known hereditary CRC syndromes.


YA CRC represents a significant and growing percentage of CRC cases in Europe, consistent with global trends.   While the majority of these cases do not overtly fit the hereditary CRC paradigm, the optimal clinical practice and translational research questions are similar and clearly compliment existing efforts.  We believe the collective clinical expertise  and scientific resources of the European Hereditary Tumour Group are exquisitely well positioned to support investigations into this emerging young adult cancer control issue.