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World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul 28;13(28):3806-15.

Metastatic colorectal cancer-past, progress and future.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology and Clinical Haematology, Western Hospital, Footscray 3011, Victoria, Australia.


The clinical management of metastatic (stage IV) colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common challenge faced by surgeons and physicians. The last decade has seen exciting developments in the management of CRC, with significant improvements in prognosis for patients diagnosed with stage IV disease. Treatment options have expanded from 5-fluorouracil alone to a range of pharmaceutical and interventional therapies, improving survival, and providing a cure in selected cases. Enhanced understanding of the biologic pathways most important in colorectal carcinogenesis has led to a new generation of drugs showing promise in advanced disease. It is hoped that in the near future the treatment paradigm of metastatic CRC will be analogous to that of a chronic illness, rather than a rapidly terminal condition. This overview discusses the epidemiology of advanced CRC and currently available therapeutic options including medical, surgical, ablative and novel modalities in the management of metastatic colorectal cancer.

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