Early detection of recurrence
Approximately 80% of the patients with primary colorectal cancer undergo intended curative resection,
mostly patients with stage I-III disease, but also few patients with stage IV disease.
Neoadjuvant chemo- or chemo-radiation therapy and adjuvant chemo- and antibody-therapy
are offered to reduce the risk of recurrence.
- However, recurrence is observed among 35–40% of the patients who have been curatively resected
- Out-patient clinical follow-up with addition of endoscopy, imaging and few blood tests are offered to detect recurrence as early as possible.
- The value of such follow-up programs is still debated
- At present, recurrence is often detected at severe stages with dissemination to other organs, including liver, lungs and brain. Therefore, treatment of recurrent disease is far from always a success.
- Early detection of recurrence would improve the overall prognosis and lead to more surviving patients
Current results of research in early detection of recurrence
- Combinations of various blood-based protein biomarkers may identify patients at risk of recurrence
- Specific cancer tissue-derived DNA mutations may be identified in blood samples from patients with primary CRC.
Disappearance of such mutations by curative resection is essential in monitoring any recurrence,
since the DNA mutations may be detected by re-growth or dissemination of the disease.
to collaborate internationally with academics and biotech companies in developing a blood-based testing system that could be useful to identify recurrence at an early stage
—leading to options of renewed intended curative treatment.