Advances in understanding the biology of colorectal cancer and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques have made the past year an exciting one. Molecular epidemiology has begun to identify specific steps involved in colorectal carcinogenesis; genes responsible for development of hereditary and nonhereditary cancers have been identified and the role of oncogenes in colorectal carcinogenesis is becoming clear. The ability to more precisely stage and localize cancers will allow application of more precise treatment strategies including primary and adjuvant therapy. Also, minimally invasive surgical resection is now being evaluated for treatment of colorectal cancer as the roles of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy are becoming more sharply defined.
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