Genetics, diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer (Review)

Marina De Rosa, Ugo Pace, Daniela Rega, Valeria Costabile, Francesca Duraturo, Paola Izzo, Paolo Delrio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1096
Number of pages10
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Conventional laparoscopic surgery
  • Early diagnosis
  • Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Genetic heterogeneity
  • Hereditary colorectal cancers
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Molecular signaling pathways
  • Personalised care
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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