Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trials
What is colorectal cancer (CRC)?
Colorectal cancer, otherwise known as CRC, starts in the colon or rectum. The term colorectal cancer is used to describe colon cancer, rectum cancer or both.
Most colorectal cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths are called polyps, where some types of polyps, but not all, can turn into cancer over time (usually many years). The chance of a polyp developing into cancer depends on its type.
- CRC is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States.
- On average, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 23 for men and women combined (4.5%).
- People with a first-degree relative diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at least twice the risk for developing this disease than those without a family history.
CRC staging (0-IV)
Stage 0: This is the earliest stage possible. Cancer has not spread and is still restricted to the innermost lining of the colon. Stage 0 is also called “Carcinoma in Situ”.
Stage I: Cancer has begun to spread, but is still in the inner lining.
Stage II: Cancer has grown through the wall of the colon and may have spread into nearby tissue. Cancer has not yet spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Stage III: Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, but has not spread to distant parts of the body.
Stage IV: Cancer has spread to the lymph system and/or to distant parts of the body, most commonly the lungs and liver. This is also called “metastasis”.
CRC first develops with few, if any, symptoms. If symptoms are present, they may include: a change in bowel habits (including diarrhea, constipation, a change in the consistency of stool or finding the stools are narrower than usual), persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain and/or feeling full, rectal bleeding, weakness or fatigue.
Clinical trials for colorectal cancer
Clinical trials are designed to find new or better ways to prevent, screen for, or treat disease. Colorectal cancer clinical research trials involve human participants to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new approaches or treatments specifically for CRC. Patient involvement in CRC trials are the best way for doctors to move medicine forward, and make changes and improvements to the way we treat CRC.
If you or a loved one needs assistance in finding CRC clinical trials, our clinical team will be happy to assist you.
Researchers are always looking for ways to treat colorectal cancer. Clinical trials for colorectal cancer can provide patients with new treatments before they become available to the public. Involvement can also help scientists understand CRC better in order to develop treatments for other patients.
Metastatic colorectal cancer
Patients suffering from metastatic colorectal cancer are often left with fewer effective treatment options, compared to those with non-metastatic cancer patients. Clinical trials for metastatic colorectal cancer could provide those patients with innovative treatments and approaches that could potentially change their disease outcome.
Colon and rectal clinical trials
There are many different types of clinical trials available for patients who have colorectal cancer. Involvement in colon cancer clinical trials or rectal cancer clinical trials allows patients to take an active role in their healthcare. By taking an active role, you are also taking charge of your health, and the health of others.