Indexed on: 27 Oct '12Published on: 27 Oct '12Published in: Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Colorectal cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the western world. It is also the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States with a recent estimate for new cases of colorectal cancer in the year 2012 being around 103,170. Various risk factors for colorectal cancer include life-style, diet, age, personal and family history, and racial and ethnic background. While a few cancers are certainly preventable but this does not hold true for colon cancer as it is often detected in its advanced stage and generally not diagnosed until symptoms become apparent. Despite the fact that several options are available for treating this cancer through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and nutritional-supplement therapy, but the success rates are not very encouraging when used alone where secondary complications appear in almost all these therapies. To maximize the therapeutic-effects in patients, combinatorial approaches are essential. In this review we have discussed the therapies previously and currently available to patients diagnosed with colorectal-cancer, focus on some recent developments in basic research that has shaded lights on new therapeutic-concepts utilizing macrophages/dendritic cells, natural killer cells, gene delivery, siRNA-, and microRNA-technology, and specific-targeting of tyrosine kinases that are either mutated or over-expressed in the cancerous cell to treat these cancer. Potential strategies are discussed where these concepts could be applied to the existing therapies under a comprehensive approach to enhance the therapeutic effects.