Colitis and Colorectal Cancer
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are accompanied by an increased risk of developing colitis-associated carcinoma (CAC). These tumors are one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with IBD and distinctly differ from sporadic colorectal cancer in their biology and underlying mechanisms. First, this review discusses risk factors for the development of CAC and summarizes some of the most important genetic alterations and molecular pathways involved in inflammatory carcinogenesis. Then, new endoscopic techniques, such as chromoendoscopy and confocal laser endomicroscopy, and their contribution to surveillance and early detection of CAC are presented. Last, we briefly address different types of concepts for prevention (i.e. anti-inflammatory agents) and treatment (i.e. surgical resection) of CAC and give an outlook on this important aspect of IBD.