Serrated polyps are thought to be precursors of ∼15% of colorectal cancers and clinical criteria for a serrated polyposis (SP) syndrome have been proposed. In this issue of American Journal of Gastroenterology, Win et al. report that family members of individuals who meet the clinical criteria for SP are at increased risk for colorectal and possibly pancreatic cancer. The important data presented by Win et al. strongly support the concept that familial SP exists and help define the patterns of risk in this syndrome. The paper also illustrates the difficulties of trying to define a genetic syndrome on the basis of largely retrospective clinical data and highlights the importance of efforts to define the genetic basis of familial SP and to study these families in a systematic, prospective manner.
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