Colorectal cancer

Colorrectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC) originates in the colon or the rectum, the final part of the digestive tract. Most CRCs start as a growth, or polyp, on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Certain types of polyps can change into cancer over time, but not all polyps become cancer. This can take up to 10 years.

 If cancer forms in a polyp, it can grow into the wall of the colon or rectum over time. Cancer cells in the colon or rectum wall can then grow into the blood vessels or lymph vessels. From there, they can travel to nearby lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body. The stage (extent of spread) of a CRC depends on how deeply it grows into the wall and if it has spread outside the colon or rectum


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women worldwide[1], representing 10% of all cancers, with 55% of cases occurring in more developed regions. About 50% of new estimated cases will come from the US, Europe, and Japan. Approximately 4.4% of men and 4.1% of women will be diagnosed with CRC at some point during their lifetime. CRC mainly affects adults over 50 years, but there is rising incidence (1.5% per year) in people who are younger for unknown reasons.


Regarding mortality, colon cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in the world[2], accounting for 9.4% of total cancer deaths.

The 5-year survival rate of people with localized stage colorectal cancer is 91%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 72%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 15%[3].

CRC can take up to 10-15 years to progress, transforming from normal tissue to an advanced polyp (advanced adenoma or advanced serrated lesion) and finally to a malignant and potentially metastatic tumor (CRC). Due to this, the medical community agrees that most of the deaths could be prevented by implementing screening programs.

Colorectal cancer screening tests help to find premalignant lesions (i.e., advanced adenomas and serrated lesions) or cancer. Finding and removing premalignant lesions prevents colorectal cancer from developing, whereas detection of early cancer improves patient prognosis. These two reasons make colorectal cancer screening a very powerful tool and a priority for Health Authorities around the globe. 

Risk factors

Unfortunately, the risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older, although global incidence of colorectal cancer in adults younger than 50 has increased over the past years. Other risk factors include:

  • Family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • An inflammatory bowel disease, such us ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Having a genetic syndrome, such as Lynch syndrome

Other risk factors are known as lifestyle factors and are those that can be avoided with prevention. This includes: lack of regular physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, being overweight, poor diet, etc.

At Amadix we are not just focused on these risk factors, we want to go further. Therefore, we are exploring the infinite possibilities offered by clinical records and patient lifestyle data, and registering, processing, and analyzing this data through the latest artificial intelligence and data analytics tools, in order to identify new risk factors to create prediction models which will help us anticipate cancer and improve patient quality of life and survival.

Colorectal cancer

Current diagnosis methods

The more commonly used current diagnostic methods for colorectal cancer are colonoscopy and the fecal-based test. Colonoscopy allows physicians to look inside the entire rectum and colon while a patient is sedated, and the fecal-based test consists of looking for hidden blood in a patient’s stool.

However, these existing diagnostic methods have limitations: colonoscopy, although expensive, is the most sensitive method, but it still presents a high risk of complications due to its invasive procedure and it requires sedation. Fecal-based tests have high false positive rates, lack the capacity to detect early stages of colorectal cancer (advanced adenomas) and have low adherence from the users. There is therefore a significant unmet clinical need nowadays for blood-based colorectal cancer screening and diagnosis that early, accurately and easily detect cancer in its different stages.

Colorectal cancer

The solution developed by Amadix, PreveCol® – an innovative early colorectal cancer detection blood-based test – has high potential and has shown superior accuracy for early colorectal cancer detection. It is non-invasive, just a blood test that improves colorectal cancer screening compliance.


  2. Global Cancer Observatory
  3. American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2020-2022

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