Advanced Colon Cancer on the Rise in Younger Patients

On January 25, 2016 – A recent study found that there is a dramatic increase in colorectal cancer (CRC) among younger patients and that these patients tend to have more advanced disease at the time of diagnosis.

The study, which evaluated 258,024 CRC patients from 1998 to 2011, found that nearly 15% of the CRC patients were under 50 years old. Increasing incidence for patients under 50 years of age is particularly important, since routine screening is not typically done before the 6th decade. Consequently, in the absence of screening, the younger patient population were significantly more likely to have advanced-stage disease at the time of diagnosis.

CRC Patients under 50 years of age at diagnosis had a high incidence of metastatic disease, with cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes and/or other organs (30% and 50% more likely, respectively, than CRC patients diagnosed >50 years old).

"This study is really a wake-up call to the medical community that a relatively large number of colon cancers are occurring in people under 50," said study lead author Dr. Samantha Hendren, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

XBiotech’s Medical Director, Dr. Michael Stecher commented, “It is alarming to see this incidence of advanced colorectal cancer in relatively young patients. Our Xilonix™ therapy has in fact been evaluated in patients with advanced, symptomatic disease. We are now preparing to seek registration for the therapy and hope to have it available for patients in the not too distant future.”