The molecular pathogenesis of colorectal cancer and its potential application to colorectal cancer screening.


Advances in our understanding of the molecular genetics and epigenetics of colorectal cancer have led to novel insights into the pathogenesis of this common cancer. These advances have revealed that there are molecular subtypes of colon polyps and colon cancer and that these molecular subclasses have unique and discrete clinical and pathological features. Although the molecular characterization of these subgroups of colorectal polyps and cancer is only partially understood at this time, it does appear likely that classifying colon polyps and cancers based on their genomic instability and/or epigenomic instability status will eventually be useful for informing approaches for the prevention and early detection of colon polyps and colorectal cancer.

In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of the polyp to cancer sequence and the potential to use this information to direct screening and prevention programs.

  • Grady WM
  • Markowitz SD
PubMed ID
Appears In
Dig Dis Sci, 2015, 60 (3)