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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Many colorectal cancer metastases may have arisen and spread even before the primary tumor was large enough to be detected, according to a new study.

A Stanford University-led team of researchers used exome sequencing data from patients with metastatic colorectal cancer to examine how the cancer spread to distant sites. Generally, metastases have been thought to arise as a subset of cancer cells accumulates additional genomic alterations that enable them to spread.

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