Patel Lab: Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk and Prevention Center



Our core purpose is to perform high quality patient-centered clinical research to improve approaches to gastrointestinal cancer prevention and early detection. Our research program is dedicated to improving identification and management of patients at increased risk of gastrointestinal cancers based on their family history and genetics, with the goal of improving cancer risk reduction interventions in high-risk populations. Our research program also focuses on optimizing colonoscopy quality and utilization. Our overall goal is to promote effective cancer risk reduction strategies that will decrease the burden of cancer in our society.

To accomplish this mission, we conduct a wide array of clinical research studies supported by diverse partners, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), The American Cancer Society, the Cancer League of Colorado, the University of Colorado Cancer Center and industry partners. We are dedicated to disseminating our findings to the public and the international scientific community through abstracts, publications, poster presentations, oral presentations and grants.

About Us:



Swati Patel MD, MS

Associate Professor of Medicine

Director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk & Prevention Center

University of Colorado Division of Gastroenterology

University of Colorado Cancer Center

Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center


Dr. Patel completed a Masters in Health Systems Administration from Union University and attended Albany Medical College for her medical degree. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Colorado. She is the Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic at the Anschutz Medical Center where she cares for patients at high risk for cancer based on their family history and genetics. She also is a Staff Physician at the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


Her core research is in (1) improving identification and management of patients at increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer based on family history and genetics and (2) optimizing colonoscopy training and quality. The overarching goal of this research is to decrease the burden of cancer in society. She also is a dedicated educator, with teaching responsibilities in the University of Colorado Department of Medicine (Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology training programs), the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and The University of Colorado School of Public Health.  


In addition to her clinical, research and teaching roles, she is active in national and international organizations dedicated to cancer prevention. She was the 2022 President of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancers with continued leadership in that organization. She serves on the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Steering Committee , an organization dedicated to successfully convening and engaging public, private, and civic organizations and individuals committed to colorectal cancer prevention and early detection. She sits on the United States Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, where she recently led the updated colorectal cancer screening guidelines which now recommend decreasing the age to start screening from 50 to 45. She serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Colorectal Cancer Screening Panel and the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board. She also mentors trainees at various stages including medical students, residents and gastroenterology fellows.


View published work here.



Research Staff:

Research Studies:


Actively Enrolling:

Upcoming Studies:

Patel Research and Advocacy in the News:


03/2023            Raising Awareness on Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day


03/2023            Two CU Cancer Center Members Attend Biden’s Moonshot Event on Colorectal Cancer


03/2023            Colonoscopy vs. Stool-Based Tests: What is the Best Way to Detect Colorectal Cancer?


03/2023            Raising awareness for colorectal cancer


03/2023            American Cancer Society says younger people are being diagnosed with colon cancer


03/2023            Leaders discuss an action plan to reduce the burden of CRC by 2030 in the US


03/2023            CGA-IGC represented at Colorectal Cancer Moonshot Forum at the White House


01/2023            CU Cancer Center Member Leads Conference on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancers


10/2022            The Message Hasn’t Changed: Get Colorectal Cancer Screening


01/2022            New Updates Released for Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendations


12/2021            The Colon Cancer Conundrum


09/2021            Be on alert for CRC in younger patients


06/2020            Spotlight on Early Onset Colorectal Cancer


03/2020            Rising Burden of CRC in Young Adults: An Urgent Need to Address the Issue


03/2019            Colorectal Cancer: What we Know


02/2019            How to counsel patients about direct to consumer genetic testing Healio Oncology


10/2018            Primary care holds key to curbing early onset colorectal cancer 


03/2018            Channel 9 News Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Interview


06/2016            Genetic Testing in Colorectal Cancer: A Roadmap for Treatment Healio Gastroenterology


06/2015            Endoscopists without prior training achieve ASGE PIVI thresholds with NBI” Healio Gastroenterology


Contact Us:


Interested in participating in research? Email the Center's Clinical Research Coordinator:

GI-CancerPreventionProgram@cuanschutz.edu or call 303.724.4466

Follow Dr. Patel on social media: @swatigp on Twitter


Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue


Aurora, CO 80045

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion

1635 North Aurora Court

Aurora, CO 80045

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