Colorectal cancer remains the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, although as much as 70% of cases thought to be preventable through moderate dietary and lifestyle modifications.1,2
The colorectal cancer mortality rate has consistently declined in recent decades due largely to enhanced accuracy of early detection techniques, such as colonoscopy. However, the outlook for colon cancer patients rapidly diminishes if the cancer has metastasized to other organs or lymph nodes before detection.
If the cancer is detected while still localized in the colon, it is surgically removed and adjuvant techniques may be employed post-surgery to improve the chance for sustained disease-free survival. Treatment for advanced metastatic colon cancer usually encompasses multi-agent chemotherapy accompanied by palliative radiation.
Unfortunately, conventional standardized chemotherapy regimens may be ineffective for some patients due to genetic resistance against the drugs employed. Further, rarely do mainstream oncologists implement nutritional therapeutics or novel drug strategies to target genetic abnormalities associated with colon cancer growth, despite the fact that many peer-reviewed studies highlight the potential value of these agents.
Investigations have shown that several factors such as dietary habits, nutritional status, and inflammation influence the genetics involved in colon cancer development and progression, thus revealing multiple targets of interest in the prevention and management of colon cancer.
For example, a review of nine studies found that for every 10 ng/mL increase in serum vitamin D, the relative risk of colorectal cancer decreased 15%.3 Another landmark trial revealed that daily low-dose aspirin reduced the risk of developing colon cancer by 24% and the risk of dying from the disease by 35%.4
In recent years, the introduction of advanced cancer analytical technology such as circulating tumor cell testing and chemosensitivity assays has improved outlook considerably by paving the way towards individually tailored treatments based upon the unique cellular characteristics of each patient's cancer.
In this protocol, you will learn about several unappreciated risk factors for colorectal cancer, and gain insight into several genetic and molecular mechanisms that drive the evolution from healthy cells to cancerous cells in the colon. You will also discover evidence-based methods for targeting these risk factors and carcinogenic mechanisms using natural compounds and novel drug strategies. The protocol will also present resources and guidance for thoroughly analyzing the unique biological characteristics of your cancer cells, which is a critical step towards establishing an effective, personalized cancer treatment regimen.