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Flashcards in Colorectal cancer Deck (49)
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1

What types of colorectal neoplasia exist?

Benign: adenoma
Malignant: adenocarcinoma

2

What types of colorectal polyps exist?

Inflammatory
Hamartomatous (occur as a result of faulty development)
Metaplastic
Neoplastic (i.e. adenoma)

3

what do oncogenes do
a) when normal
b) when mutated

a) promote cell growth and division
b) When mutated cause excess cell growth and division (gain of function)

4

What do tumour suppressor genes do
a) when normal
b) when mutated?

a) suppress cell growth and division
b) allow cell growth and division (loss of function)

5

What are the genetic/epigenetic abnormalities involved in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence of colorectal cancer?

Activation of oncogenes
Loss or mutation of tumour suppression genes
Defective genes of the DNA repair pathway leading to genomic instability

6

Which oncogenes are most frequently altered in colorectal cancer?

What do these alterations cause to occur?

KRAS
c-MYC
Point mutations in KRAS:
Can lead to EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) independent activation of the MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinases) pathway inducing cell proliferation, preventing apoptosis, and promoting invasion, metastasis and neovascularisation.

Overexpression of c-MYC:
a feature of most colorectal cancers
it encodes a nuclear phosphoprotein that is required for DNA synthesis
increased expression may be followed by increased cellular proliferation

7

What may contribute oncogene activation?

Age related hypomethylation

8

Which tumour suppression genes are altered in colorectal cancer?

Point mutations in APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) gene
MCC (mutated in colorectal cancer)
DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer)
TP53 (gene product is p53)
Deletions in NME1

9

What alteration occurs in the APC gene, and what is the effect?

Point mutations.
Subsequent deletion of the accompanying normal allele results in the complete loss of the tumour suppressor function, leading to colorectal cancer.

10

What alteration occurs in the MCC gene and what is its effect?

MCC- mutated in colorectal cancer
The gene product is involved in cell cycle control

11

What alteration occurs in the DCC gene and what is its effect?

DCC- deleted in colorectal cancer
Involved in the control of apoptosis

12

What is the product of the TP53 gene and what does it do?

The product is p53.
This is a nuclear protein that can hold the cell cycle at the G1/S checkpoint and allow time for succesful DNA repair, or initiate apoptosis if the DNA damage is irrepairable.

13

What alteration may occur to the NME1 gene and what is the result?

Deletions
May facilitate metastasis

14

What factors contribute to the development of colorectal cancer?

Inherited genetic factors
Long-standing ulcerative colitis
Environmental factors:
Mostly dietary, e.g. high fibre diet is protective

15

Where do colorectal cancers occur?
Why is this of clinical importance?

50% in the rectum
30% in the sigmoid colon
The rest are equally distributed in the caecum, ascending, transverse and descending colon

This is important because about 50% of colorectal cancers can be reached with a finger and 80% with the sigmoidoscope.

16

What are the different types of macroscopic appearances of colorectal cancer?

Ulcerative
Polypoidal
Annular/stenosing

17

What type of cancers are the majority of the ones in the rectum?
How do they present?

Ulcerative.
They usually present with rectal bleeding.

18

Where are annular/stenosing type cancers mostly seen?
What do they cause?

The descending colon and sigmoid.
They usually precede obstruction relatively early because of the narrowing of the lumen and the solid consistency of the faeces at this site.

19

Where are polypoid cancers more common?
What do they cause?

The right colon
They tend to cause recurrent occult bleeding and the patient develops iron-deficiency anaemia. These tumours are more likely to be advanced at the time of presentation.

20

How are adenomas classified histologically?

Tubular - 75%
Villous - 10%
Tubulovillous- intermediate in pattern- 15%

21

What do tubular adenomas look like macroscopically?

Small- usually less than 10mm in diameter
Resemble a raspberry
Most are pedunculated (have a stalk)
A minority have a broad base ( are sessile)

22

What is the microscopic appearance of tubular adenomas?

Numerous elongated and branching crypts lined by mucous secreting epithelium showing varying degrees of dysplasia

23

What do villous adenomas look like macroscopically?

They are usually sessile
Often are over 20mm in diameter
Some extend over a wide area as a thick, carpet-like growth

24

What is the microscopic appearance of villous adenomas?

Elongated villi in a papillary growth pattern
The villi are lined by columnar epithelium showing dyplasia

25

How are adenocarcinomas classified histologically?

Well differentiated
Moderately differentiated
Poorly differentiated

26

How are adenocarcinomas staged pathologically?

Using the Dukes' and or TNM classification system
Dukes:
A- the tumour is confined to the submucosa or muscle layer
B- the tumour has spread through the muscle layer but does not yet involve the lymph nodes
C- Any tumour involving lymph nodes irrespective of extent of direct spread
D- distant metastases

TNM:
T- tumour
T1- submucosa only
T2- into muscle
T3- Through muscle
T4- Adjacent structures (including peritoneum)

N- nodes
N0- no lymph node involvement
N1- 3 or less lymph nodes involved
N2- more than 3 nodes involved

M- metastasis
M0- no distant metastases
M1- distant metastases

27

Where does colorectal cancer spread to locally?

Adjacent structures

28

Where does colorectal cancer spread to via the lymphatic system?

Pericolic nodes
Perivascular noes

29

Where does colorectal cancer spread to via the blood?

Liver
Lungs

30

List protective and causative lifestyle factors of colorectal cancer.
Say which of these are most important

Protective:
Vegetables
Fibre
Exercise- most important protective factor

Causative:
Red and processed meat- only dietary factor proven to be causative
Smoking
Alcohol
Obesity- most causative factor

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