Oncology Central

Epigenome-wide analysis of DNA methylation reveals a rectal cancer-specific epigenomic signature

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cause of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in Europe and the USA [1]. From a clinical point of view, malignancies in the colon (CC) and the rectum (RC, comprising approximately 33%) represent two distinct entities that require different treatment strategies. The distinction between the CC and RC is largely anatomical but it impacts both surgical and radiotherapeutic management with often different prognoses [2]. In contrast with CC, which has a low incidence of local recurrence and longer survival time, patients with RC have a higher incidence of recurrence requiring the addition of pelvic radiation therapy (chemoradiation) [3,4]. As a consequence, the clinical management of patients with RC differs significantly from that of the CC in terms of surgical technique, the more frequent use of radiotherapy and method of chemotherapy administration [5].

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