Molecular advances in the etiology and treatment of colorectal cancer

B. A. Bradley, B. M. Evers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer remains a formidable health care problem. Colorectal cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in both men and women in Western countries and accounts for over 55,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. Cancer of the colon and rectum is eminently curable by surgical resection if identified early; however, despite our best efforts, patient survival from this disease has changed little over the past 50 years. With the advent of molecular and genetic techniques, a number of novel discoveries have been made in the last decade which have greatly expanded our understanding of the etiology and cellular mechanisms contributing to the development and subsequent progression of colorectal cancer. This review summarizes the recent molecular advances in the understanding of both familial (HNPCC and FAP) and sporadic colorectal cancers. The numerous scientific advances described in this review offer the promise of the development of novel chemotherapeutic agents, more accurate prognostic indicators and better screening techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
JournalSurgical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Colon cancer
  • Human genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • Polyposis syndromes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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