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What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is neoplastic growth in the lower region of the gastrointestinal tract; more specifically it is limited to the rectum and colon. It is characterised by progression of benign growths in the lining of the colon and rectum (polyps) toward malignancy [Cancer.org]. The majority of colorectal cancers concern adenocarcinomas, originating in the mucus-secreting cells of the lower gastrointestinal tract [NHS]. Globally, colorectal cancer is the fourth  most commonly diagnosed cancer, and ranks third in the mortality burden of all cancers. In the UK, this amounts to a number of  42,000 new cases yearly.

The 5-year survival for colorectal cancer is 64%, however, this is affected by the stage of progression. Notably, colorectal cancer is increasing in incidence in recent years, and has been strongly linked to lifestyle choices, with major risk factors including diet, obesity, tobacco and alcohol consumption.

Why would I want to study colorectal cancer?

The incidence of colorectal cancer research is through early diagnosis, intervention and improved understanding or intervention potentially of very high impact. The Oxford CRUK centre is well-placed to provide patient samples from a large biobank, and source more should any be required for large-scale studies.

What samples are available?

Cancer tissue in addition to control tissue from surrounding normal colon (and pre-cancerous polyps where available) can be supplied fresh or in the form of formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) blocks.

How do I gain access?

Should you wish to gain access to these samples, bloods, video and data, please contact mari-lenna.issaias@oncology.ox.ac.uk who can help facilitate and guide you through the process.

Interested in our services?

If you are interested in accessing patient samples, please contact Mari-lenna Issaias on mari-lenna.issaias@medsci.ox.ac.uk, who can help facilitate and guide you through the process.