Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common and often lethal tumor. Over the last 25 years, remarkable progress has been made in understanding its biological and molecular features and in elucidating the steps involved in colon carcinogenesis. This, in turn, has led to a more rational and effective
clinical approach to the treatment of CRC. While colorectal adenoma is the most frequent precancerous lesion, other potentially premalignant conditions, including chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and hereditary syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome and
juvenile polyposis, involve different sites of the gastrointestinal tract with an overall incidence of less than 5%. In all such cases, disease recognition at an early stage is essential to devise suitable preventive cancer strategies. These topics are addressed in this review, along with
the most important epidemiological, pathogenetic and clinical features that lead to malignant transformation. Novel biomarkers for early cancer prediction, detection, prognostic evolution, and the response to treatment are critically assessed as well. Continued improvements in our knowledge
of the molecular basis of CRC and the transfer of this information into daily clinical practice will reduce the burden of this disease.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Medical Oncology, IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (I.R.S.T.), Meldola (FC), Italy
Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Oncology, University of Bari ‘Aldo Moro’, Medical School, Bari, Italy
January 1, 2013
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The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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