Evidence for field effect cancerization in colorectal cancer

Genomics. Feb-Mar 2014;103(2-3):211-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Dec 4.


We compared transcript expression, and chromosomal changes on a series of tumors and surrounding tissues to determine if there is evidence of field cancerization in colorectal cancer. Epithelial cells were isolated from tumors and areas adjacent to the tumors ranging from 1 to 10cm. Tumor abnormalities mirrored those previously reported for colon cancer and while the number and size of the chromosomal abnormalities were greatly reduced in cells from surrounding regions, many chromosome abnormalities were discernable. Interestingly, these abnormalities were not consistent across the field in the same patient samples suggesting a field of chromosomal instability surrounding the tumor. A mutator phenotype has been proposed to account for this instability which states that the genotypes of cells within a tumor would not be identical, but would share at least a single mutation in any number of genes, or a selection of genes affecting a specific pathway which provide a proliferative advantage.

Keywords: Chromosome copy number; Colon cancer; Field effect cancerization; LOH; Transcript expression.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic* / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic* / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic* / pathology
  • Chromosomal Instability*
  • Colonic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male