Gynaecological cancers in HNPCC

Lead researcher

Dr Yoland Antill, Professor Ingrid Winship, Dr Mark Jenkins

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Dept Haematology and Medical Oncology

Years funded

Research into the causes and treatment of cervical, ovarian and endometrial cancer in adults.

Some families carry an inherited condition in which they are born with errors in particular genes (hMLH1, hMSH2, hMSH6 and hPMS2) that would normally help to prevent certain cancers from forming. This syndrome is known as Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC).

Females with these gene errors are at increased risk for developing gynaecological as well as bowel cancers, often at an earlier age than would be expected.

Not all people who carry these gene errors will develop cancer making it likely that environmental or lifestyle factors may play an important role in whether this occurs.

The outcomes of this study are likely to provide doctors, patients and their relatives with information that will make a significant impact on how we look after women at risk of these cancers. It will provide precise and accurate estimates of the risks of cancer developing which are needed to optimise genetic counselling of carriers and their relatives. It will identify potential means, other than surgery and screening, by which carriers can reduce their cancer risks.

It is likely that the results of this study will not only help Australian services but be of benefit to other health services around the world.

Award / Duration



$66,600 in 2007, $55,025 in 2008, $60,400 in 2009