Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third-most common cancer (after lung and breast) and the fourth-leading cause of death from cancer around the world. Patients can be effectively treated when the tumor is detected and removed early; however, colorectal cancer tends to develop without symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage.
Screening is the most effective strategy against colorectal cancer. Although testing for blood in stool (using the fecal immunochemical test, or FIT) is the standard approach, improvements are urgently needed as many cancers and precancerous lesions are missed by this test.
The SU2C–DCS Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Dream Team first aim is to improve the current FIT screening test by looking for more specific tumor-related molecules in stool samples. Its second aim is to develop a molecular blood test to help identify patients who will benefit from chemotherapy after surgery.