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In this way, we identified olfactomedin-4, which was overexpressed in adenomas and in early stages of colorectal tumors.
CRC diagnosis and prognosis rely on the tumor-node-metastasis and clinical staging systems, which illustrate local lymph node and distal organ invasion.
These clinical stages are important prognostic factors because survival rates of 5 years or more are observed for more than 90% of patients diagnosed with Stage I CCR, whereas survival rates drop to only ∼10% for CRC that have metastasized to distant organs (stage IV) (2).
As a consequence, early stage detection has the most impact on cancer incidence and mortality in this disease (3, 4).
As initially described by Vogelstein (5), colorectal transformation is explained by the sequential accumulation of genetic alterations that generate malignant cells (6).
Mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli gene and the subsequent activation of β-catenin is probably the most common initiating event of CRC, leading to the transformation of normal colonic epithelium into adenomas (7–10).