(Pathways, Risk factors, and mOleculeS to Prevent Early-onset Colorectal Tumours)

CHALLENGE: Early-onset cancers

Gradient line


Team PROSPECT aims to uncover the mechanisms linking lifetime exposures to early-onset colorectal cancer and test new strategies to combat this cancer type.

Team Leads
Andrew Chan (Massachusetts General Hospital) and Yin Cao (Washington University in St. Louis)
France, India, Italy, US, UK

The idea

Team PROSPECT hopes to tackle the rise in the incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC) by employing a disruptive, transdisciplinary approach spanning cells, individuals and populations.   

The team aims to define the lifetime exposures (exposome) and transmission dynamics associated with EOCRC, to identify novel risk factors as well as prevention strategies for this cancer type. This would involve multi -omic profiling approaches to data and samples from studies derived from racially and geographically diverse at-risk cohorts.  

Using novel experimental models, the team hopes to investigate how the exposome interacts with genes across generations, uncover the mechanisms behind EOCRC and find ways to target them for EOCRC prevention.  

Based on its findings, the team hopes to develop and launch trials in cohorts from the US, UK and India to test prevention strategies for EOCRC. 

"The challenge approach has invigorated us to unify cutting-edge expertise from a diverse, global team of leading scientists and future leaders from different disciplines under a singular mission: to unravel the causes that underlie the global epidemic of early-onset colorectal cancer and devise strategies to counteract the alarming rise in cases."