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The Latest Advances in Colorectal Cancer Treatment

March 15, 2023

Colorectal cancer is one of the deadliest cancers you may have to face. But new technology leads to new treatments and improved patient care. Keep reading to learn more about the new colon cancer treatments.


Latest Colon Cancer Treatment Advances


New colon cancer treatments include less invasive surgical procedures now than in the past and new approaches to drug therapies for patients whose cancer has metastasized to other organs in the body. Colon cancer treatment advances, particularly relating to breakthroughs in drug research, are improving the prognosis for later-stage colorectal cancer patients.


Surgical Advanced Colon Cancer Treatments


Surgery is the first line of attack when treating colorectal cancer treatment. Sometimes, a doctor may use chemotherapy or other methods to shrink the tumor before the surgery.


Endoscopic surgery allows a surgeon to insert a scope and special tools through the rectum and remove cancerous polyps. Laparoscopic surgery only requires small incisions to remove the tumor and affected lymph nodes. This type of minimally invasive treatment often uses a robotic system, guided by the surgeon, to remove tumors in hard-to-reach places. These advanced techniques provide quicker recovery times and less infection chance than traditional surgeries.


Medicinal Colon Cancer Treatment Advances


There are two approaches research scientists use to develop new, innovative drugs. The first method uses a drug to target cells containing a specific mutation. The second one stimulates the patient’s immune system by introducing a specific antibody that allows the body to attack the cancerous cells.


Targeted Therapy


Every cell nucleus in your body contains chromosomes that consist of approximately 50,000 genes. These genes control the production of proteins, which regulate how a cell grows and replicates. Hereditary and environmentally caused gene mutations accumulate over time, and some of these affect cell growth and replication, leading to a proliferation of abnormal, cancerous cells. Some of the targeted therapy drugs include the following:


  • Avastin, Cyramza, and Zaltrap: These drugs prevent a tumor from producing the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein it needs to create new blood vessels that supply necessary nutrients to a cell.
  • Erbitux and Vectibix inhibit the production of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein, which cancer cells need to grow.
  • Braftovi: This medicine for colon cancer targets cells with a BRAF genetic mutation that promotes abnormal cell growth. This drug is often combined with one of the EGFR drugs to shrink and slow the growth of tumors, effectively extending the life span of late-stage cancer patients.
  • Herceptin, Perjeta, Tukysa, Tykerb, and Enhertu: Target cells with a HER2 mutation that promotes abnormal cell growth.


These drugs are expensive and aren’t effective for everyone. Side effects differ among the drugs, so be sure to inform your treatment team about any adverse reactions you may experience. Some of these drugs are intravenously administered, while others are available in pill or capsule form.


There are still many unknowns concerning the growth and regulation of cancer cells. But research continues, and as scientists discover new mutations, work begins to develop drugs that deactivate those particular cells.




One of the latest colon cancer treatments made headline news last year, and it holds great promise for rectal cancer patients. A normal autoimmune system pathway includes a programmed cell death receptor-1 (PD-1) protein and an associated programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). In some types of tumors, PD-1 and PD-L1 are bound together and suppress the activation of the body’s natural immune attack response to an abnormal cell. Dostarlimab is an antibody protein that disables this block and allows the immune system to work and destroy the cells that have this distinctive PD-1 and PD-L1 coupling. Researchers find this abnormal configuration in different types of tumors, including lung, breast, endometrial, ovarian, head and neck, melanoma, and colorectal.


In August 2022, the doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York reported that a group of 89 patients suffering from metastasized colorectal cancer had a 100% eradication of tumors following treatment with Dostarlimab. This small study opens the door for additional expedited clinical trials and accelerated FDA approval. Will it be the miracle drug that cures colorectal and other cancers? Perhaps.


How Do These Treatments Compare to Colon Cancer Chemo?


New colon cancer treatments are less invasive surgically and more targeted medicinally. Chemo drugs are not discriminatory. They destroy cancerous as well as healthy tissues surrounding the tumors. However, chemo may enhance the effectiveness of a targeted drug, so they can be used together in some situations.


Risks Associated With the Latest Advanced Colon Cancer Treatment


Every treatment has its own risks and side effects. Chemo and other drugs may cause nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. While your body is compromised by the adverse effects, you might become more susceptible to infections. Check the list of side effects supplied with every prescription.


Benefits of Using the Latest Colon Cancer Treatments


If Dostarlimb lives up to its promising start, the greatest benefit would be a complete recovery. Even if it falls short of expectations, it has opened a new door for immunotherapy research that may one day lead to targeted cures for all cancers.


In the meantime, drug advances relieve pain and discomfort, increase longevity and provide hope for millions of cancer patients.