Scientists uncover 4 different types of bowel cancer

Scientists uncover 4 different types of bowel cancer

Bowel cancer can be divided up into four distinct diseases, each with its own set of biological characteristics, a major new study published in Nature Medicine.

The study combined data from 3,443 patients with bowel cancer from all over the world to form the largest collection of molecular and clinical data on the disease ever assembled – including genetic mutations, gene activity, immune system activation, cell metabolism, cancer cell type and ability to invade neighboring tissues.

Scientists found that 87% of bowel cancers could be robustly assigned to one of the four groups. Tumors within the four ‘consensus molecular subtypes’, or CMSs, each had a pattern of irregularities that could leave them vulnerable to the same treatment strategy.

CMS1 (microsatellite instability immune, 14%), hypermutated, microsatellite unstable and strong immune activation; CMS2 (canonical, 37%), epithelial, marked WNT and MYC signaling activation; CMS3 (metabolic, 13%), epithelial and evident metabolic dysregulation; and CMS4 (mesenchymal, 23%), prominent transforming growth factor–β activation, stromal invasion and angiogenesis.

Patients with one particular type of bowel tumor – CMS4 – were often diagnosed late (stage III and IV), had high levels of spread to other sites in the body, and had significantly worse survival rates than the other types.

Patients with another type, CMS2, had much better survival rates even if the cancer had relapsed.

http://www.icr.ac.uk/news-archive/scientists-uncover-four-different-types-of-bowel-cancer
 
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