Our Vision is to create and implement a personalised approach to colorectal cancer screening to reduce the number of new cases and deaths.

We will do this by bringing new evidence to existing screening pathways, and ensuring the best use of health resources.  We have formed a team of experts in clinical and non-clinical sciences:

(a) to develop the first personalised colorectal cancer risk tool that incorporates all known genetic, pathology, family history, lifestyle factors and personal characteristics, and

(b) to develop proven methods for implementing these tools into clinical practice.


People do not have the same risk of colorectal cancer. A person’s risk is made up of differences in many environmental factors, as well as great variation in the underlying inherited factors. We know this because having a family history is a well-established colorectal cancer risk factor, and mathematical models show just how strong the underlying inherited risks must be in order to explain family risk.

Our current knowledge of these risks and our capacity to reach everyone at different levels of colorectal cancer risk through screening programs is limited. As a result, we know that a substantial proportion of the people are not being screened often enough while many others are being screened too often, and those who need screening colonoscopy are not always reached.

The number of new cases and deaths from colorectal cancer could be reduced by improving our ability to determine each person’s risk, so that those, and only those, at the highest risk of colorectal cancer would be recommended to undertake appropriate colonoscopy screening.  

The Centre for Research Excellence in Optimising Colorectal Cancer Screening is made up of these six institutions:

  • The University of Melbourne
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (who are partners in the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre)
  • The Cancer Council Victoria