Cancer Prevention Program

Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO)

It is recognized that genetic variants play an important role in conferring risk of colorectal cancer.  To comprehensively study the millions of genetic variations across the genome, large scale studies are becoming increasingly important for elucidating inherited risk factors and their interaction with environmental factors.

The Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) is a collaborative effort of researchers from North America, Australia, and Europe, using data from approximately 40,000 participants. The coordinating center for this international consortium is based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Principal investigator: Ulrike Peters).

GECCO aims to accelerate the discovery of colorectal cancer-related variants by replicating and characterizing Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) findings, conducting a large-scale meta-analysis of existing and newly generated GWAS data, and investigating how genetic variants are modified by environmental risk factors. A crucial part of this work is the ongoing harmonization of detailed clinical, epidemiologic, and outcome data across the studies in the consortium. Recently, GECCO has begun to investigate rare variants, conduct survival studies, and incorporate gene-expression and tumor characteristics into its research.

Studies currently working with GECCO:

  • French Association Study Evaluating RISK for sporadic colorectal cancer (ASTERISK);
  • Assessment of Risk for Colorectal Tumours in Canada (ARCTIC) study;
  • A case-control study from the University of Hawai’i (Colo 2&3).
  • Colon Cancer Family Registry (C-CFR);
  • Darmkrebs: Chancen der Verhütung durch Screening (DACHS);
  • Diet, Activity, and Lifestyle Study (DALS);
  • Hawaiian Population-Based Case-Control Study of CRC (Hawai’i CCS);
  • Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS);
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy C-CFR Study (HRT/CCFR);
  • Multiethnic Cohort(MEC);
  • Molecular Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer (MECC) study;
  • The Newfoundland Familial Colon Cancer Registry (NFCCR);
  • North German Case Control Study (NGCCS);
  • Nurses' Health Study (NHS);
  • Physicians' Health Study (PHS);
  • Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO)
  • CancerScreening Trial; VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort;
  • Women's Health Initiative (WHI);

For questions or additional information please contact:

Ulrike (Riki) Peters, PhD, MPH
Associate Member Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Research Associate Prof University of Washington
PO Box 19024
1100 Fairview Avenue N, M4-B402
Seattle, WA 98109-1024
Phone: (206) 667-2450

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.