Epigenomics of Colon Cancer

Many of the mutated genes ("driver") involved in the progression of colon cancer have now been discovered, resulting in a model for the disease as a sequence of mutational events. However, it is quite rare that all the CRC driver genes are mutated in CRC tumors, and it has now been shown that epigenomic abberations are intimately involved in CRC tumorigenesis, even at its early stages (adenomas and crypt foci). Here, Balch et al. describe how epigenomic anomalies might allow for embryonic pathway activation, necessary for dedifferentiation of normal colon cells into "cancer stem cells," followed by tumor growth, and ultimately, metastasis and secondary colonization. 

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