Colon Cancer

Future Research

Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Doctors are studying new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat colon cancer.

Clinical trials are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether the new approach to colon cancer treatment is safe and effective. Research already has led to advances in these areas, and researchers continue to search for more effective approaches to aid in the treatment of colon cancer.

People who join clinical trials may be among the first to benefit if a new approach is shown to be effective. And if participants do not benefit directly, they still make an important contribution to medicine by helping doctors learn more about colon cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, researchers do all they can to protect their patients.

Research on Colon Cancer Prevention

Recent studies suggest that certain drugs may help prevent colon cancer. Researchers are studying aspirin, celecoxib, and other drugs in people with a higher-than-average chance of developing this disease.

Research on Screening and Diagnosing Colon Cancer

Researchers are testing new ways to check for polyps and colorectal cancer. One study is looking at the usefulness of virtual colonoscopy. This is a CT scan of the colon. Another study is using genetic testing to check stool samples for colorectal cancer cells.

Research on Colon Cancer Treatment

Researchers are studying chemotherapy, biological therapy, and combinations of colon cancer treatments:

  • Chemotherapy: Researchers are testing new anticancer drugs and drug combinations to measure how effective they are in treating colon cancer. They also are studying combinations of drugs and radiation therapy before and after surgery.

  • Biological therapy: New biological approaches also are under study. Biological therapy uses the body's natural ability (immune system) to fight cancer. For example, researchers are studying treatment with monoclonal antibodies after surgery or with chemotherapy. A monoclonal antibody is a substance made in the laboratory that can bind to cancer cells. It can help kill cancer cells.

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