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Oncol Rep. 2015 Sep;34(3):1087-96. doi: 10.3892/or.2015.4108. Epub 2015 Jul 3.

Genetics, diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer (Review).

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Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples 'Federico II', I-80131 Naples, Italy.
Colorectal Surgical Oncology-Abdominal Oncology Department, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, 'Fondazione Giovanni Pascale' IRCCS, I-80131 Naples, Italy.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer worldwide and a leading cause of cancer death. Surgery represents the mainstay of treatment in early cases but often patients are primarily diagnosed in an advanced stage of disease and sometimes also distant metastases are present. Neoadjuvant therapy is therefore needed but drug resistance may influence response and concur to recurrent disease. At molecular level, it is a very heterogeneous group of diseases with about 30% of hereditary or familial cases. During colorectal adenocarcinomas development, epithelial cells from gastrointestinal trait acquire sequential genetic and epigenetic mutations in specific oncogenes and/or tumour suppressor genes, causing CRC onset, progression and metastasis. Molecular characterization of cancer associated mutations gives valuable information about disease prognosis and response to the therapy. Very early diagnosis and personalised care, as well as a better knowledge of molecular basis of its onset and progression, are therefore crucial to obtain a cure of CRC. In this review, we describe updated genetics, current diagnosis and management of CRC pointing out the extreme need for a multidisciplinary approach to achieve the best results in patient outcomes.

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