Cytochrome P450, family 2, subfamily W, polypeptide 1 (CYP2W1) is a newly identified
monooxygenase enzyme that is expressed specifically in tumor tissues and during fetal life.
Particularly, high expression of CYP2W1 was observed in up to 60% of colorectal cancers and its
expression correlated with poor survival. CYP2W1 has been shown to metabolize various endogenous
substrates including lysophospholipids and several procarcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbon. The specific substrate for CYP2W1, however, is currently unknown. Due to its tumor-specific expression
and its unique catalytic activities in colorectal cancers, CYP2W1 was deemed as an interesting target in colorectal cancer
therapy. This review sought to summarize the current understanding of the CYP2W1 biology and biochemistry, its genetic
polymorphisms and cancer risk, and its implication as a tumor-specific diagnostic and therapeutic target.