Clinical Corner - November 2023

There are demonstrated differences in tumor cell metabolism between right-sided and left-sided colorectal tumors, which could explain the differences observed in their clinical behavior, especially in metastatic disease. Now, new research has found that patients with right-sided colorectal tumors that spread to the liver have worse survival rates than those with left-sided tumors that also metastasized to the liver.

The findings provide insight into the unique biology of right- and left-sided tumors, which may impact treatment options and patient outcomes. There are distinct differences in metabolites and bile acids in right-sided colon cancer samples. Conversely, indicators of fatty acid oxidation are relatively increased in the samples of left-sided colon cancer.

Analysis reveals several key differences in cellular physiology which may be relevant to clinical differences in tumor behavior between right- and left-sided colon cancer liver metastasis. These findings show that metastatic tumors to the liver originating from different locations in the colon have distinct behaviors. This knowledge will help tailor treatment strategies and improve outcomes for patients with liver metastases, no matter what side of the colon they originate from.

These results also support the importance of correct topography codes when abstracting colon cancer cases!