Genetic pathways, prevention, and treatment of sporadic colorectal cancer

Rasika Mundade, Thomas F. Imperiale, Lakshmi Prabhu, Patrick J. Loehrer, Tao Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


Epithelial cancer of the colon and rectum, also known as colorectal cancer (CRC), results from a progressive accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations that lead to uncontrolled growth of colonocytes, the cells lining the colon and rectum. CRC is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the third most common cancer in men and in women in the U.S. Of all the patients diagnosed with CRC every year, it is estimated that the vast majority of CRCs are non-hereditary "sporadic cancers" with no apparent evidence of an inherited component. Sporadic CRC results from the cumulative effects of multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations caused by somatic mutations, which may themselves be the indirect result of several environmental factors. This review examines our current understanding of the major genetic alterations leading to colon cancer, options for prevention and early detection of CRC, and the currently available treatment approaches that may target these different genetic alterations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-406
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Colon cancer
  • Genetic pathway
  • Sporadic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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