Role of aberrant crypt foci in understanding the pathogenesis of colon cancer

Cancer Lett. 1995 Jun 29;93(1):55-71. doi: 10.1016/0304-3835(95)03788-X.


Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) are present in carcinogen treated rodent colons and in the colons of humans with a high risk for developing the disease. It is proposed that ACF are preneoplastic lesions. Quantification of the number and growth features of ACF has been employed to study modulators of colon carcinogenesis. In this review, examples are presented to support the concept that ACF are preneoplastic lesions and that sequential quantification of their number and growth features (crypt multiplicity) in animal colons may provide further insight into the pathogenesis of colon cancer. It is proposed that cellular and molecular heterogeneity among ACF with different growth and morphologic features will be invaluable in the identification of events critically associated with cancer development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology
  • Adenoma / etiology
  • Animals
  • Azoxymethane
  • Carcinogens
  • Cholic Acid
  • Cholic Acids / toxicity
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Dietary Fats / adverse effects
  • Dimethylhydrazines
  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology*


  • Carcinogens
  • Cholic Acids
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dimethylhydrazines
  • Cholic Acid
  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Azoxymethane