Advanced Colorectal Cancer

Patients diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer have disease that has spread from the colon or rectum to one or more distant sites in the body. Typical sites that colorectal cancer spreads to may include the liver, lungs, and peritoneum.  It may sometimes spread to the bones and brain. (It’s still called colorectal cancer, even though it’s moved somewhere else.)

The following is an overview for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. The information on this web-site is intended to help educate you about your treatment options and to create discussion to help in the decision-making process with your treatment team.

Patients diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer have an increasing number of treatment options as a result of genomic testing and the development of precision cancer medicines. Some patients may be cured of their cancer, and others can derive significant long-term survival benefit with appropriate sequencing of treatment. 

Your cancer will ultimately influence the treatments that are right for your situation.  

Treatment may also include surgery, radiation, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatment techniques. Multidisciplinary treatment, which uses two or more treatment types, is important for every cancer patient and will help in creating a care plan and goals for improving a chance of cure or prolonging survival. In some cases, participation in a clinical trial may provide additional options.