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Colorectal Cancer > Treatment Options

Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the stage and type of the disease based on pathology results. Tumor biomarker testing and genetic testing can provide additional clues about which treatments may work best for your cancer. For people with metastatic or advanced cancer, these additional tests are usually recommended.

Standard treatment may include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Some people may also benefit from treatment with immunotherapies or targeted therapies. Clinical trials may be available for any stage of cancer.

About 17 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer will test positive for an inherited mutation. People with an inherited mutation in the genes below may have different treatment recommendations or options depending on their gene mutation. 

Genes Linked to Colorectal Cancer
APC, BMPR1A, CHEK2, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, PMS2, POLE, PTEN, SMAD4, STK11, TP53

Make sure that you receive a copy of your cancer test results, including your pathology report and your stage. Ask your doctor to explain your diagnosis, test results and treatment options in terms that you can understand. This will allow you to work with your doctor to choose the best treatment for you.   

See below for more information on each of these colorectal cancer treatment topics. 

In the News

Promising early results for people with DNA mismatch repair deficient rectal cancer

Study: Promising early results for people with DNA mismatch repair deficient rectal cancer

A small research study tested the usefulness of the immunotherapy drug dostarlimab for treating locally advanced rectal cancer with a biomarker known as “dMMR” (DNA mismatch repair deficient). None of the participants had evidence of...

More Information on Colorectal Cancer Treatment Options

Stages & Subtypes

Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the stage and type based on pathology results. Learn about how doctors determine the stage and subtype of colorectal cancers.

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Standard Therapies

Treatment for colorectal cancer often includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Learn more about these types of treatments.

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Genetic & Biomarker Testing

Tumor biomarker testing and genetic testing can provide additional clues about which treatments may work best for your cancer.

More info

Targeted & Immunotherapies

Tageted therapies are designed to attack or kill cancer cells, while sparing normal cells as much as possible. Immunotherapies are cancer treatments that help the body’s immune system detect and attack cancer cells. 

More info

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Last updated February 13, 2024