Are There Biochemical and Molecular Biological Factors to Distinguish the Rectal Cancer by the Colon Cancer?

  • Ulrich T. Hacker
  • Pierre Laurent-Puig


Empirically, different strategies have evolved for the treatment of locally advanced colon cancer (surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy) compared to locally advanced rectal cancer (neoadjuvant radio- or radiochemotherapy followed by total mesorectal excision followed by adjuvant chemotherapy). These differences are mostly attributable to the anatomical situation which poses an increased risk of local recurrence in locally advanced rectal cancer compared to colon cancer. On the other hand, in the metastatic setting, the treatment strategies are very much the same for colon carcinomas and rectum carcinomas, and the clinical outcome is generally similar [8]. Based on differences that exist between the normal right and left colon with respect to embryonic origin (midgut vs. hindgut) and some histological features [7], the question was raised whether colon cancer can be distinguished from rectal cancer based on molecular and/or biochemical differences.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Medicine Leipzig, University Cancer Center Leipzig (UCCL)LeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Université Paris DescartesParisFrance

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