Colon cancer can be much more serious in younger people
For the study, researchers compared the genetics of five colon cancer
tumours from younger patients (half of them younger than 31) and six tumours from older patients (half older than 73).
Study author Dr Christopher Lieu reports: “We saw differences in two important gene-signalling pathways – PPAR and IGR1R – which are involved in regulating cell development, metabolism and growth.”
Dr Lieu explains that changes in signalling pathways correlate with several different types of cancer
, including cancer
of the colon.
The team of researchers also found that pathways responsible for metabolising drugs enriched tumours in younger patients.
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How chemotherapy affects young and old colon cancer patients differently
“Chemotherapies challenge cancer cells and younger people may metabolise these chemotherapies differently than older patients. This may explain why our traditional chemotherapy treatments may be less effective for younger patients with metastatic colorectal cancer,” study author Dr Todd Pitts said in a news release.
Researchers say they’re planning a larger study to confirm and explain their findings.
“If I were to shoot for the stars, I would say that our end goal is to be able to offer better treatments for this population of young colorectal cancer patients that seems to be at higher risk from the disease,” Dr Lieu says.
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