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Lack of protein may help identify aggressive colon cancer cases

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that doctors could use the lack of a protein called CDX2 to identify cases of aggressive colon cancer. The tumor in patients who have undergone surgical removal for stage 2 of colon cancer may return if it does not produce the protein, according to the findings. This could be a beneficial indicator for Ohio patients who are suffering from the disease.

In stage 2 colon cancer, the disease has spread in the colon but not to other areas of the body. The patients have a 63 to 87 percent chance of living for five years, which depends on how much the disease has spread through the colon. This means that the prognosis is generally optimistic.

For the most part, stage 2 colon cancer patients do not receive chemotherapy after the surgical removal of their tumors because the risks of chemo treatment outweigh the benefits, says a Stanford University School of Medicine cancer biology professor and lead author of the study. However, he believes that the 5 to 10 percent of colon cancer patients in stage 2 who are negative for CDX2 could benefit from chemo.

Chemo improves the survival rate for patients with advanced colon cancer. However, doctors have previously been unable to determine those patients in the disease's earlier stages who have aggressive colon cancer and who could benefit from new chemo treatments. The chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society says that how physicians treat stage 2 colon cancer patients will likely change because of this new study.

The improper treatment of colon cancer could result in a worsened medical condition and lead to life-altering consequences for patients. Those who have been harmed in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to learn about the available options for seeking compensation.

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