According to a new report, the '2025 Challenge: Saving and Improving Lives' from Bowel Cancer UK, the Government could reduce bowel cancer deaths by 60% by 2025, if it follows the recommendations of its new report. In the UK, bowel cancer is the second largest cancer killer, with an overall five-year survival rate of just over 50% of those who are diagnosed. Bowel Cancer UK also aims that an additional 2, 500 people with bowel cancer, per year, live for at least five years after diagnosis by 2025. The key findings of the report are: The survival rate for bowel cancer patients currently lies at just over 50% By 2025, bowel cancer mortality could be reduced by 60%, i.e. from 18 to 7 in 100, 000 people, providing realistic goals are adhered to Nearly 1 in 4 patients do not understand their doctor's explanations in terms of bowel cancer, and 1 in 5 patients reported their treatment is undignified and lacks respect 20% of patients report to have been provided with conflicting information about their disease The charitable organization aims to increase the proportion of early stage diagnoses of bowel cancer and improve survival rates of those with advanced stages of bowel cancer.
Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered a new mechanism by which colon cancer develops. Whilst concentrating on 'junk DNA' i.e. DNA segments located between genes, the team found a set of master switches (gene enhancer elements) that turn key genes on and off. An alteration in the expression of these genes leads to colon cancers. To describe these master switches, the team has named them Variant Enhancer Loci or 'VELs'. The team points out that VELs are not mutations in the actual DNA sequence, but changes in proteins that bind to DNA. This form of alteration is also known as 'epigenetic' or 'epimutations'. The finding is significant, given that such epimutations can potentially be reversed. Over a 3-year period, the team systematically recorded the locations of hundreds of thousands of gene enhancer elements in DNA from normal and cancerous colon tissues and identified key target VELs that were different between the two tissue types.
A new study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that obese white women may be less likely than normal-weight counterparts and African-Americans of any weight or gender to seek potentially lifesaving colon cancer screening tests. Results of this study follow the same Johns Hopkins group's previous research suggesting that obese white women also are less likely to arrange for mammograms, which screen for breast cancer, and Pap smears, which search for early signs of cervical cancer. "No group is perfect when it comes to screening, and overall rates of colonoscopy are low, but if you're obese, female and white, our data show you're probably even less likely to be screened, " says study leader Nisa M. Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers have identified a new population of intestinal stem cells that may hold clues to the origin of colorectal cancer. This new stem cell population, reported in the journal Cell, appears to be relatively quiescent (inactive) - in contrast to the recent discovery of intestinal stem cells that multiply rapidly - and is marked by a protein, Lrig1, that may act as a "brake" on cell growth and proliferation. The researchers have also developed a new and clinically relevant mouse model of colorectal cancer that investigators can now use to better understand where and how the disease arises, as well as for probing new therapeutic targets. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. These tumors are thought to arise from a series of mutations in intestinal stem cells, which are long-lived, self-renewing cells that gives rise to all cell types in the intestinal tract.
Colorectal Cancer: Noninvasive Stool Test Unaffected By Medications, Lifestyle Factors And Other Variables
Research on an investigational DNA methylation test for colorectal cancer demonstrated that the only clinical variable that influenced test results was age, according to results presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, March 31 - April 4. "There was a progressive increase in background methylation levels that varied widely between methylation markers tested as a patient aged, " said David Ahlquist, M.D., professor of medicine and a consultant in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "For example, median background methylation levels of the TFPI2 gene increased 49 percent in patients from age 50 to age 80, whereas levels for the BMP3 gene increased by only 0.2 percent across this age range." His group at the Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with Exact Sciences, developed the multimarker molecular stool test, which is highly sensitive to the critical cancer screening targets of early-stage cancers and precancerous adenomas, he said.