Molecular Epidemiology of Ghanaian Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the fourth-most common cancer in men and the third-most common cancer in women worldwide, with significant variation between different parts of the globe. In Ghana, the number of patients in the hospitals is growing and the real incidence of colorectal cancer is unknown. Colorectal cancer mortality in Ghana is also unknown, but 88% of patients are diagnosed at the late stages and the mortality from colorectal cancer is among the highest in Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. It is the second highest cause of cancer deaths in general surgery. Studies of colorectal cancer biology in Ghana are needed to make informed decisions on treatment strategies and estimate prognosis for the patients. The Central hypothesis of our study is that molecular biology of colorectal cancer and factors associated with colorectal cancer risk in Ghana are distinct and germline variations associated with colorectal cancer are different from those observed in non-African populations, but potentially similar to the ones observed in African Americans. The overall goal is to characterize clinical, pathological, molecular, and genetic features of colorectal cancer and life style factors associated with colorectal cancer in Ghana. Dr. Raskin (Vanderbilt University, USA) and Dr. Dakubo (University of Ghana, Ghana) established a molecular epidemiological case-control study of colorectal cancer collecting clinical, pathological, and epidemiological data and biospecimens (serum, blood DNA and RNA, tumor tissue) from all consecutive consented colorectal cancer patients from Karle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. The controls are being selected from hospital patients without any cancer. The collected data and biospecimens are being used for pathological, molecular, and genomic analyses of Ghanaian colorectal cancer.