Researchers: Bowel cancer can be categorized into four diseases
- Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London used data from 3,443 patients with bowel cancer as a basis for their research.
- They found that overall, 87% of bowel cancers can be classified as one of four diseases.
- The implications for diagnosis and treatment are positive, because molecular subtyping can help guide more personalized, effective treatment based on the characteristics of the particular type of bowel cancer.
The scientists' findings, which were published in Nature Medicine, will be used to help identify which patients have the most aggressive, fast-growing bowel (colorectal) cancers, based on known characteristics of each of the four consensus molecular subtypes.
According to Cancer Research UK, the five-year survival rate for patients with bowel cancer is 59% for men and 58% for women. It is now well understood that individual tumors in the same organ or part of the body can have a wide range of biological and clinical responses.
While conducting their research, the scientists found that the bowel cancer designated as consensus molecular subype (CMS) 4 was more likely to be diagnosed late and to be aggressive, while patients with CMS2 had better survival rates, even in the event of a recurrence.