Genomics and metagenomics of colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common cancer globally. It is a complex disease influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Early studies on familial cases have identified major genes involved in CRC, such as proto-oncogenes KRAS, PIK3CA and BRAF, and tumour-suppressor genes APC and TP53. These genes have provided valuable insight into the molecular pathogenesis of CRC, and some have made ways to clinical utility to help diagnose cancer syndromes, prognosticate oncological outcomes and predict treatment responses. While these genetic factors are important, recent studies have suggested contribution of microorganisms to colorectal carcinogenesis. Observational studies, animal experiments and translational works have identified several microorganisms as potential carcinogenic bacteria, such as Fusobacterium nucleatum and Peptostreptococcus anaerobius. With the advent of sequencing technology and bioinformatics, more genomic and metagenomic factors are being uncovered as important players in CRC carcinogenesis. This article aims to review recent genomic and metagenomic discoveries relating to CRC.