Investigation of Age-specific Differences & Cancer of the Cecal Colon

Background

Cancer of the colon, which has a median age of occurrence of 72 years, is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States that afflicts men and women. Understanding the effects of normal or usual age-related changes on biological-functions that contribute to carcinogenesis in the elderly is an important area of research. The objective of this pilot study is to begin to evaluate the aspects of free radical damage and induction of apoptosis in colon cancer with respect to age at diagnosis.



##Specific Aim

In a cohort of colon cancer patient diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the cecal-colon, we proposed to determine with respect to age: levels of oxidative DNA damage, apoptotic activity and the expression levels of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes.



##Methods

This study was designed to evaluate these issues in archival human colon tumor tissue samples using standard immumohistochemistry techniques.



##Significance

The ultimate objective of characterizing the tumor biology of the elderly is to identify useful markers that can predict disease outcome and perhaps response to treatment and intervention. Understanding the functional mechanisms underlying the age-related increase incidence of the disease in elderly can identify strategies for prevention or delaying the onset of disease.

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