Cancer is an important global issue with increasing incidence and mortality, placing a substantial burden on the healthcare system. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed among men and women in US. It is estimated that in 2018 there will be 319,160 new diagnosis and 160,820 deaths related to cancer of the digestive system including both genders in the United States alone. Considering limited success of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery in treatment of these cancer patients, new therapeutic avenues are under constant investigation. Therapy options have consistently moved away from typical cytotoxic chemotherapy where patients with a given type and stage of the disease were treated similarly, to an individualized approach where a tumor is defined by its specific tissue characteristics /epigenetic profile, protein expression and genetic mutations. This review takes a deeper look at the immune-biological aspects of cancers in the gastrointestinal tract (entire digestive tract extending from esophagus/stomach to rectum, including pancreatico-biliary apparatus) and discusses the different treatment modalities that are available or being developed to target the immune system for better disease outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research