Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a lethal malignancy with limited treatment strategies. Accumulating evidence indicates that CRC tumorigenesis, progression and metastasis are intimately associated with circadian clock, an inherent 24-h cycle oscillation of biochemical, physiological functions in almost every eukaryote. In the present review, we summarize the altered expression level of circadian genes in CRC and the prognosis associated with gene abundance switch. We illustrate the function and potential mechanisms of circadian genes in CRC pathogenesis and progression. Moreover, circadian based-therapeutic strategies including chronotherapy, therapeutics targeting potential circadian components, and melatonin treatment in CRC are also highlighted.

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