Bowel cancer can be divided into 'four distinct diseases' - study

clock

Bowel cancer cases can be divided into 'four distinct diseases' with some more aggressive and with higher fatality rates than others, a study has found.

The six classification systems used for bowel cancer can be used to divide up the disease into four groups the study found.

The report of the study, The consensus molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer was published in the journal Nature Medicine.

The study used data from 3,443 patients worldwide, providing the largest dataset used for research, with 87% of cases fitting one of the four groups.

The four consensus molecular subtypes (CMS) were:

CMS 1: "microsatellite instability immune" - 14% of cases, with worse survival rates than average after relapse, "frequently diagnosed in females with right-sided lesions".
CMS 2: "canonical" - 37% of cases, higher survival rates after relapse, mainly left-sided.
CMS 3: "metabolic" - 13% of cases.
CMS 4: "mesenchymal" - 23% of cases, with worse relapse-free and overall survival rates, and often diagnosed at a later stage.

Analysis of those cases which did not fit into the four groups found they were either mixed or indeterminate, and not a fifth group.

Dr Anguraj Sadanandam, study co-leader and team leader in precision cancer medicine at the Institute of Cancer Research, said: "Our study has identified four distinct types of bowel cancer, each with a definite set of genetic and biological characteristics, and some of which are more aggressive and more likely to be fatal than others.

"This could allow doctors to pick out those patients with more aggressive disease and treat them accordingly.

"Ultimately, it could lead to development of new molecular diagnostic tests to diagnose patients by their particular type of bowel cancer, and give them the most effective treatments for that type.

"Our work is a perfect example of the team science approach that is increasingly being used to tackle the biggest research problems - with collaborators compiling data from around the world to arrive at these new disease classifications."

Further reading:

OneStop breast cancer diagnostic clinics for Cigna customers

Four in ten female CI claims for breast cancer

NHS misses two cancer targets

 

More on Critical Illness

Critical illness claims down due to delayed health checks: Royal London

Critical illness claims down due to delayed health checks: Royal London

Awareness during ‘Movember’

John Brazier
clock 19 November 2021 • 1 min read
Talking openly about money benefit overall health and relationships

Members must start conversations around later life and care funding, says CII

24 million adults underconfident about managing money

Georgie Lee
clock 12 November 2021 • 1 min read
Alan Lakey: The value of congenital condition cover for children

Alan Lakey: The value of congenital condition cover for children

'An area that creates confusion with the potential for inferior advice'

Alan Lakey
clock 01 November 2021 • 3 min read

Highlights

COVER Excellence Awards 2021: All the winners revealed!

COVER Excellence Awards 2021: All the winners revealed!

Leading With Distinction

COVER
clock 03 November 2021 • 2 min read
COVER Excellence Awards 2021: The Night in Pictures

COVER Excellence Awards 2021: The Night in Pictures

A photo gallery from COVER Excellence Awards 2021, held at The Brewery, London, on 2 November.

COVER
clock 03 November 2021 • 1 min read
Gosia Bowling: The role of behavioural science in creating a menopause-friendly workplace

Gosia Bowling: The role of behavioural science in creating a menopause-friendly workplace

'The key to supporting menopausal women is creating a culture in which conversations are welcomed and expected'

Gosia Bowling
clock 02 November 2021 • 6 min read