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World J Clin Oncol. 2012 Dec 10;3(12):150-4. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v3.i12.150.

Multiple roles of angiotensin in colorectal cancer.

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  • 1Hiroki Kuniyasu, Department of Molecular Pathology, Nara Medical University, 840 Shijo-cho, Kashihara 634-8521, Japan.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) cells express renin and chymase through which they can activate angiotensin. Renin expression is induced by hyperglycemic conditions. As angiotensinogen is produced in the liver, CRC cells that can activate angiotensin have an enhanced ability to metastasize to this organ. In human CRC cases, patients with diabetes have higher activities of rennin and angiotensin-II in primary tumors, and on average, have a more progressed disease stage, especially with respect to liver metastasis. These patients exhibit a stronger association with Hemoglobin A1c levels and metastasis compared to patients without diabetes. In a combined diabetes/CRC liver metastasis mouse model, concurrent treatment with anti-angiotensin and hypoglycemic agents shows a synergic effect in terms of reduced liver metastasis and improved survival. The effect of anti-angiotensin treatment and blood sugar control as a baseline management for colon cancer patients with diabetes needs to be examined in clinical trials to establish whether it can prevent liver metastasis.


Angiotensin; Angiotensin II receptor blocker; Diabetes; Liver metastasis; Renin

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