[Two colons--two cancers? Proximal or distal adenocarcinoma: arguments for a different carcinogenesis]

Bull Cancer. 1995 Jan;82(1):10-21.
[Article in French]


The purpose of this review is to study the literature concerning normal colon and colorectal cancer for evidencing that the location of the primary proximal or distal tumor may determine two categories of carcinogenesis. The proximal or distal normal colon can be considered as two different organs. Their embryologic origins are different, the splenic flexure starts the distal segment. Antigenic pattern as well as the use of metabolic pathways, such as that of glucose, butyrate and polyamines differ. Epidemiologic, macroscopic and histological features and the inherited and acquired genetic abnormalities allow in some cases to distinguish between two types of cancer according to their proximal or distal location. These two forms are not entirely different and these features can overlap. However the recognition of these two different forms of colon cancer, must be taken in account for clinical or basic research and evaluation of data.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Colon / immunology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DNA, Satellite / genetics
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary*
  • Sex Factors


  • DNA, Satellite
  • Genetic Markers