S-CORT Stratification in Colorectal Cancer
Stratified medicine holds the promise to tailor appropriate treatments to patients by linking variables such as molecular or imaging phenotypes to clinical decisions.
The aim of the combined effort of S-CORT is to better diagnose CRC in such a way as to increase the likelihood that the treatment with the highest chance of success, is prescribed to patients. It also aims to minimise the sometimes negative side effects associated with various therapies. In this comprehensive analysis, tissue taken from patients receiving surgery, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy are analysed using techniques summarised above to identify signatures which will improve how those therapies are used going forward.
As screening for bowel cancer becomes more effective we are increasing the proportion of patients who are presenting with the disease at an earlier stage. Currently, our ability to identify which of these early stage cancers are more likely to be invasive or metastasis, is limited. This information is critical in deciding what type of surgery should be performed to maximise the patient survival and quality of life.
A common drug used to treat late stage CRC patients is Oxaliplatin. This drug is known to work in only 50% of patients. Knowing which patients would respond better would reduce the number of patients who needlessly suffer the side effects of Oxaliplatin, but understanding the underlying biology of response will help the generation of novel therapies for patients for whom there is currently no effective treatment.
Radiotherapy is an effective treatment for the majority of CRC patients but does come with side-effects. Determining which patients are more likely to respond will allow more effective deployment of this intervention and support the development of novel therapeutic approaches.