This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/10
Research for colorectal cancer is ongoing. The following advances may still be under investigation in clinical trials and may not be approved or available at this time. Always discuss all diagnostic and treatment options with your doctor.
Improved detection methods. Scientists are developing tests to analyze stool samples to detect genetic changes associated with colorectal cancer. By finding and removing polyps or identifying cancer early, doctors have a better chance of curing the patient.
Tests to predict the risk of cancer recurrence. Tests that analyze various genes important to tumor growth and spread can help doctors and patients make decisions about whether to use chemotherapy after treatment. Researchers hope that these tests can spare people with a lower risk of recurrence from the side effects of additional treatment.
Cancer vaccines. Cancer vaccines are a type of immunotherapy (also called biologic therapy). Immunotherapy is designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to bolster, target, or restore immune system function.
New drugs. Many new drugs are being tested for colorectal cancer, including advanced colon and rectal cancers. Some are chemotherapy medications and others are targeted therapies. Most are only available through clinical trials until they become established and are approved by the FDA.
To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor orsearch online clinical trial databases now.