Doctors are working to learn more about colorectal cancer, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials . Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.
Improved detection methods. Researchers are developing tests to analyze stool samples to find genetic changes associated with colorectal cancer. By finding and removing polyps or identifying cancer early, doctors have a better chance of curing the disease.
Tests to predict the risk of cancer recurrence. Tests that analyze various genes important to tumor growth and spread can help doctors and patients make decisions about whether to use chemotherapy after treatment. Researchers hope that these tests can spare people with a lower risk of recurrence from the side effects of additional treatment.
Cancer vaccines . Cancer vaccines are a type of immunotherapy  (also called biologic therapy). Immunotherapy is designed to boost the body's natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to bolster, target, or restore immune system function.
New drugs. Many new drugs are being tested for colorectal cancer, including advanced colon and rectal cancers. New types of chemotherapy and targeted therapy are being studied. Most are only available through clinical trials.
Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current colorectal cancer treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.
Learn more about common statistical terms used in cancer research .
Looking for More about Current Research?
If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding colorectal cancer, explore these related items:
- To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now .
- Review research announced at recent scientific meetings  or in ASCO’s peer-reviewed journals .
Read ASCO’s latest Clinical Cancer Advances report , which highlights top research findings over the past year.
- Visit ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net  website to learn more about the historical pace of research for colorectal cancer.
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