Special Issue "Latest Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapies"
A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017)
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most frequent cancer type, with approximately one million new cases per year world-wide, and more than half a million deaths annually. In the past few decades, important advances have been made in screening, staging, treatment, and molecular characterization of CRC. For non-metastasized CRC, surgery is the cornerstone for curative treatment. However, up to 50% of CRC patients show distant metastases, either at the time of diagnosis or during clinical follow-up. A major challenge in CRC is the development of curative treatment options for these patients. Recent advancements in molecular biological techniques and analyses have led to a much better understanding of the biology of CRC. Both genetic and epigenetic aberrations appear to be common in CRC. In addition, different subtypes of CRC have been defined, based on specific DNA mutations and on molecular pathways involved. Furthermore, accumulating evidence proved that the tumor microenvironment, including the immune system, plays an important role in CRC development. Traditionally, the treatment of choice for CRC is dependent on the tumor location (rectum vs. colon) and TNM classification. New treatment modalities become available that interfere in specific molecular pathways. Therefore, future treatment will be based on the underlying biology in specific cases of CRC. It has also become clear that therapeutic interventions can result in selective outgrowth of resistant subtypes. This is the result of tumor heterogeneity, with genetic and epigenetic instability as a driving force. Therefore, treatment outcome is the result of a competition between treatment efficacy and outgrowth of escape variants.
In this Special Issue of IJMS, the focus will be on this competition by considering the biology of CRC in relation with new treatment options.
Dr. Peter J.K. Kuppen
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- colorectal cancer
- molecular pathway
- tumor microenvironment