Editorial
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Nov 15, 2018; 10(11): 367-369
Published online Nov 15, 2018. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v10.i11.367
Upgraded role of autophagy in colorectal carcinomas
Evangelos Koustas, Panagiotis Sarantis, Athanassios G Papavassiliou, Michalis V Karamouzis
Evangelos Koustas, Panagiotis Sarantis, Athanassios G Papavassiliou, Michalis V Karamouzis, Division of Molecular Oncology, Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens 11527, Greece
Author contributions: All authors participated in the writing and editing of the manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Michalis V Karamouzis, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 75, M. Asias Street, Athens 11527, Greece. mkaramouz@med.uoa.gr
Telephone: +30-210-7210960 Fax: +30-210-7210960
Received: July 3, 2018
Peer-review started: July 3, 2018
First decision: July 19, 2018
Revised: August 1, 2018
Accepted: October 9, 2018
Article in press: October 9, 2018
Published online: November 15, 2018
Abstract

Autophagy is a basic catabolic process closely associated with degradation of cellular components. The role of autophagy in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains controversial. The mechanism of autophagy has been identified as protecting mechanism against tumorigenesis by isolation of damaged organelles or as cytoprotective provides energy in hypoxic regions of CRC tumors. Mutations in proto-oncogenes, such as RAS and BRAF, have been associated with autophagy initiation through signaling pathways of BRAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR. A combination therapy of chemotherapeutic agents and autophagy inhibitors such as hydroxychloroquine or immunotherapy might represent a major step that could be evaluated as a putative novel therapeutic strategy in CRC patients.

Keywords: Autophagy, Tumorigenesis, Clinical trials, Autophagy inhibitors, Colorectal cancer

Core tip: The significant role of autophagy in maintaining the balance of tumorigenesis and cancer cell death remains controversial. The last decade grown body of evidence support the notion that autophagy is a promising target for many malignant tumors, including colorectal cancer (CRC). A novel therapeutic approach which could involve autophagy inhibitors or immunotherapy plus chemotherapeutic drugs could open a new field for treating patients with CRC.