Colorectal cancer is the world’s fourth deadliest cancer, with the highest incidences in developed countries. The risk of developing the disease depends on many factors, including genetics, medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, diet and lifestyle. The prognosis for patients is favourable if diagnosed at the earliest stage and, in this case, surgery is the treatment of choice. However, for patients who present at a later stage, marked by metastatic spread of tumour cells to the lymph nodes and other sites in the body, treatment consists of a combination of general chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapy.
On the occasion of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (US) in March, the cancer team at Nature Communications has curated a collection of research articles that shed light on the molecular and genetic pathogenesis of colorectal cancer as well on new therapeutic and diagnostic options. These insights could help improve outcomes for patients affected by this disease.
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