Skip to main content

A study of cancer risks in relatives of patients with serrated polyposis


Serrated polyposis (hyperplastic polyposis) is characterized by multiple polyps with serrated architecture in the colorectum. While patients with serrated polyposis are known to be at increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and possibly extracolonic cancers, cancer risks for their relatives have not been widely explored. The aim of this study was to estimate the risks of CRC and extracolonic cancers for relatives of patients with serrated polyposis.


A cohort of the 1,639 first- and second-degree relatives of 100 index patients with serrated polyposis recruited regardless of a family history of polyps or cancer from genetic clinics in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, were retrospectively analysed to estimate the country-, age- and sex-specific standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for relatives compared with the general population.


A total of 102 CRCs were observed in first- and second-relatives (SIR 2.25, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.75–2.93; P<0.001), with 54 in first-degree relatives (SIR 5.16, 95% CI 3.70–7.30; P<0.001) and 48 in second-degree relatives (SIR 1.38, 95% CI 1.01–1.91; P=0.04). The SIR of CRC for relatives was greater when index cases were diagnosed under age 50 (P=0.04). Six pancreatic cancers were observed in first-degree relatives (SIR 3.64, 95% CI 1.70–9.21; P=0.003). There was no evidence of increased risk for cancer of the stomach, brain, breast or prostate.


Our finding that relatives of serrated polyposis patients are at significantly increased risk of colorectal and pancreatic cancer, adds to the accumulating evidence that serrated polyposis has an inherited component.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Additional information

AK Win, RJ Walters contributed equally to this work.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Win, A., Walters, R., Buchanan, D. et al. A study of cancer risks in relatives of patients with serrated polyposis. Hered Cancer Clin Pract 10, A21 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Public Health
  • Confidence Interval
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • General Population
  • Family History