Timeline of colorectal cancer

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This is a timeline of colorectal cancer, describing especially major discoveries and advances in treatment of the disease.

Big picture[edit]

Year/period Key developments
Ancient times Different herbs to treat colorectal cancer are proposed more than 6,000 years ago in ancient China. The ancient Greek and Indian civilizations also record preventative care and treatment plans, such as the use of olive oil, for colon health.[1]
1960s The colonoscope is developed thanks in part to advances in fiber optics and engineering.[1] Engineering advances improve the visualization and illumination provided by the laparoscope.[2]
1970s Endoscopic screening, including colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy, are introduced, enabling discovery of colorectal cancers and precancers at their earliest stages when they are most treatable and curable.[3]
1980s Video chip technology is introduced for laparoscopy, providing a major enhance in colorectal cancer surgery.[2]
1990s New gene tests for hereditary conditions are developed, which enable physicians to identify people with these conditions and monitor them more closely for cancer or pre cancerous polyps through regular colonoscopy screenings.During this period, the widespread adoption of the colonic J-Pouch (similar to the ileo-anal pouch) brings significant improvements in quality of life for patients.[4][3]
2000s International collaboration leads to standardization of best practices, emphasizing a multidisciplinary team approach to colorectal cancer care. In European countries, national networks of rectal cancer centers of excellence that use evidenced-based care serve as a model for similar efforts throughout the world.[5]
2010s In the USA, the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer begins accepting applications. It is a collaborative effort between the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and the OSTRiCh (Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer) Consortium whose goal is to eliminate the variability in patient outcomes following the multidisciplinary European model.[6]
Present time Today, the treatment of colorectal cancer can be aimed at cure or palliation. When colorectal cancer is caught early, surgery can be curative. Globally, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer making up about 10% of all cases.[7] In 2012, there were 1.4 million new cases and 694,000 deaths from the disease.[7] It is more common in developed countries, where more than 65% of cases are found.[8] It is less common in women than men.[8]

Full timeline[edit]

Year/period Type of event Event Location
1896 Development English Sir Jonathan Huchinson first describes the association of mucosal pigmentation and gastrointestinal polyposis.[9]
1913 Development Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer is first described.[10]
1925 Discovery Researchers first describe association between inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.[11]
1925 Discovery American gastroenterologist Burrill Bernard Crohn and Herman Rosenberg report the first case of adenocarcinoma complicating ulcerative colitis.[12]
1932 Development English physician Cuthbert Dukes devices a classification system for colorectal cancer.[1]
1958 Treatment Fluorouracil is introduced for treating colorectal cancer. It is found to show improvements when combining with other drugs like leucovorin, methotrexate and trimetrexate.[13]
1965 Discovery Researchers discover association of primary sclerosing cholangitis with ulcerative colitis. Many studies since confirm the higher risk of ulcerative colitis–associated colorectal cancer in patients with PSC.[11]
1966 Development Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary non polyposis colorectal cancer, is first categorized.[14]
1966–1969 Development Japanese surgeon Hiromi Shinya and William Wolff, working at Beth Israel Medical Center develop colonoscopic techniques using an esophagoscope, which would allow one endoscopist to perform a colonoscopy, rather than the two-person technique, which was previously the standard. They also develop the electrosurgical polypectomy snare for polyp removal. In September 1969, Wolff and Shinya publish their work using diagnostic fiber colonoscopy, thus revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.[1] New York City, US
1982 Treatment New procedure called total mesorectal excision emerges as a new standard surgical treatment for rectal cancer. It consist in removing only the cancerous region of the rectum, allowing patients to maintain normal bowel function.[15]
1985 Treatment Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is developed as a surgery performed via a scope inserted into the anus to remove early stage rectal cancers less invasively. TEM is especially important as an option for patients who are too ill or elderly to undergo an open abdominal operation.[3]
1985–1991 Treatment Treatment after surgery is found to increase colorectal cancer survival, by means of administration of chemotherapy (adjuvant treatment). Prior to this, about half of patients experienced a recurrence of their cancer after surgery, which often led to death.[3]
1990–1999 Development Genetic tests become available for familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.[3]
1992 Development Gastrointestinal stromal tumor is first described.[16]
1994 Discovery Study shows that approximately one third of patients with low grade dysplasia progress to high grade dysplasia or colorectal cancer during further examination.[11]
1996 Treatment FDA approves Camptosar (irinotecan), for advanced colon cancer.[17] United States
1997 Discovery Surgery is found to cure colon cancer patients with tumors that have spread to the liver alone.[3]
2000 The American College of Gastroenterology recommends colonoscopy every 10 years as the preferred screening strategy for persons at average risk of acquiring colorectal cancer.[18]
2001–2004 Treatment FDA approves Xeloda (capecitabine), the first oral chemotherapy drug, for patients with advanced metastatic colon cancer, and later for patients with stage III colon cancer (cancer with limited spread in the surrounding tissue) who have had surgery to remove the tumor.[3] United States
2002–2004 Treatment FOLFOX regime, which combines eloxatin (oxaliplatin) with fluorouracil and leucovorin, is approved to treat advanced colon cancer that has spread despite other treatments.[3]
2004 Treatment Avastin (bevacizumab) is approved for treating colorectal cancer.[19]
2004 Treatment Erbitux (cetuximab) is approved for treating colorectal cancer.[19]
2008 Report The IARK ranks colorectal cancer (CRC) second for cancer prevalence and third for mortality in men and third for frequency and second for mortality in women in developed countries.[20]
2009 Development Several studies report the feasibility of using stool based microRNA as biomarkers for colorectal cancer screening.[21]
2012 Treatment FDA approves Stivarga (regorafenib) and Zaltrap (aflibercept) for antiangiogenic therapy. Studies show both drugs extend survival, offering new options for patients with aggressive colorectal cancers.[22] United States
2015 Treatment FDA approves Lonsurf (trifluridine and tipiracil) for patients with an advanced form of colorectal cancer who are no longer responding to other therapies.[23][24] United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "The History of Colorectal Cancer Screening Colonoscopies". Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Role of Laparoscopic Techniques in Colorectal Cancer Surgery". Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Cancer progress". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  4. ^ Jorge, Wexner (12 January 1993). "Etiology and management of fecal incontinence". Dis Colon Rectum. 36 (1): 77–97. doi:10.1007/bf02050307. PMID 8416784.
  5. ^ Dietz, David W.; Consortium for Optimizing Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRiCh) (October 2013). "Multidisciplinary management of rectal cancer: the OSTRICH". Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 17 (10): 1863–1868. doi:10.1007/s11605-013-2276-4. ISSN 1873-4626. PMID 23884558.
  6. ^ "National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer Is Now Accepting Applications". American College of Surgeons. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  7. ^ a b World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. pp. Chapter 1.1. ISBN 978-9283204299.
  8. ^ a b World Cancer Report 2014. World Health Organization. 2014. pp. Chapter 5.5. ISBN 978-9283204299.
  9. ^ Guilherme Campos, Fábio (2015). "Colorectal cancer risk in hamartomatous polyposis syndromes". World Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 7 (3): 25–32. doi:10.4240/WJGS.v7.i3.25. PMC 4381153. PMID 25848489.
  10. ^ Craanen, M. E. (1996). "Recent Developments in Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer". Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. 31: 92–97. doi:10.3109/00365529609094737.
  11. ^ a b c Mattar, MC; Lough, D; Pishvaian, MJ; Charabaty, A (2011). "Current Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colorectal Cancer". Gastrointest Cancer Res. 4 (2): 53–61. PMC 3109885. PMID 21673876.
  12. ^ "Colorectal cancer complicating ulcerative colitis: a reviewColorectal Cancer Complicating Ulcerative Colitis". Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  13. ^ Bertino, JR (1997). "Chemotherapy of colorectal cancer: history and new themes". Semin Oncol. 24 (5 Suppl 18): S18–3–S18–7. PMID 9420015.
  14. ^ "Immunochemistry screening for Lynch syndrome in colorectal adenocarcinoma using an initial two antibody panel can replace a four antibody panel". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  15. ^ "The Role of Total Mesorectal Excision in the Management of Rectal Cancer". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  16. ^ Roshanravan, Reza (2014). "Gastric Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) Incidentally Found After Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy: A Case Report". Annals of Colorectal Research. 2 (3). doi:10.17795/acr-24855.
  17. ^ Rothenberg, M. L. (2001). "Irinotecan (CPT-11): Recent Developments and Future Directions–Colorectal Cancer and Beyond". The Oncologist. 6: 66–80. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.6-1-66. PMID 11161230.
  18. ^ Anderson, W. F. (2002). "Colorectal Cancer Screening for Persons at Average Risk". CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment. 94 (15): 1126–1133. doi:10.1093/jnci/94.15.1126.
  19. ^ a b Hurwitz, H. (2005). "New Combinations in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: What Are Our Expectations?". The Oncologist. 10 (5): 320–322. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.10-5-320.
  20. ^ Di Caro, Giuseppe (2013). "Immune cells: plastic players along colorectal cancer progression". Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. 17 (9): 1088–1095. doi:10.1111/jcmm.12117. PMC 4118167.
  21. ^ "Colorectal cancer screening: are stool and blood based tests good enough?". Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  22. ^ Jitawatanarat, P; Wee, W (2013). "Update on antiangiogenic therapy in colorectal cancer: aflibercept and regorafenib". J Gastrointest Oncol. 4 (2): 231–8. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2078-6891.2013.008. PMC 3635194. PMID 23730520.
  23. ^ "Press Announcements - FDA approves new oral medication to treat patients with advanced colorectal cancer". www.fda.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  24. ^ . Raedler, Lisa A (2016). "Lonsurf (Trifluridine plus Tipiracil): A New Oral Treatment Approved for Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer". Am Health Drug Benefits. 9 (Spec Feature): 97–100. PMC 5013844. PMID 27668054.