Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD), is a chronic, idiopathic, repeated inflammatory disease. Colorectal cancer (CRC) that develops in patients with IBD is known as colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC), but the underlying carcinogenic mechanism remains unclear. Genomic analysis of sporadic CRC has been well described based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) data. Using NGS, we compared all exons of 415 cancer-associated genes in patients in Japan and the USA who had CRC and found similar genomic alteration patterns among the two populations. However, genomic analysis of CAC has not been thoroughly investigated. Main body: The molecular pathogenesis of CAC shares many features with sporadic CRC, but there are distinct variations in the time and frequency of some alterations. Gene alterations in CAC are gradually being elucidated using genomic sequencing analyses. Some studies have shown that gene alteration patterns differ between UC and CD. The carcinogenesis of CAC depends on unique environmental, genetic, and immunological factors. Conclusions: In this review, we have discussed the differences in genomic alterations between sporadic CRC and CAC. NGS in patients with IBD has the potential to detect early CAC and to suggest therapeutic targets.
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