An international consortium of 7 research teams, including the CIT team, just published in Nature Medicine  a consensus classification of colorectal cancers (CRC) based on gene expression data.
Based on the analysis of more than 4,000 tumor samples, this work lead to a consensus on the existence of 4 molecular subtypes of colorectal cancers, thoroughly characterized at the molecular and clinical level :
- The ‘MSI immune’ type (14% of cases) : hypermutated tumors, with a majority bearing microsatellite instability (MSI) and a prominent immune infiltration,
- The ‘Canonical‘ type (37% of cases) : tumors with chromosomal instability and mutations in the APC and TP53 genes, illustrating the canonical carcinogenesis described by Fearon and Vogelstein in 1990,
- The ‘Metabolic‘ type (13% of cases) : chiefly mutated in the KRAS oncogene and overexpress metabolic pathways,
- The ‘Mesenchymal‘ type (23% of cases), associated to a bad prognosis : highly infiltrated tumors that overexpress genes of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal transition.
It is the first international collaboration that successfully lead to the molecular classification of a cancer. The classification into 4 molecular subgroups can hereon be used as a standard by the scientific community, in particular for the identification of targeted therapy and for the stratification of clinical trials.
 Guinney, J., Dienstmann, R., Wang, X., de Reyniès, A., Schlicker, A., Soneson, C., Marisa, L., Roepman, P., Nyamundanda, G., Angelino, P., et al. (2015). The consensus molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer. Nature Medicine advance online publication.