Chemotherapy and Biomarkers

Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer: Present and Future
  • Francisca E. Marti
  • Mark P. Saunders


Traditionally, clinicians have relied on histological and radiological parameters to assign prognosis to patients and to predict outcomes. In colorectal cancer, this has classically been represented by the TNM and Dukes’ classification. Although in most cases this is a good estimation of recurrence risk and overall outcome, clinical practice tells us that within each stage of the disease, there is a wide spectrum of outcomes. Important issues like the selection of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with stage II colorectal cancer remain unanswered. Current chemotherapy regimens and radiotherapy used in the treatment of both early and advanced disease have variable rates of response within populations, and a priori, there is no objective way to predict response. The only exception to this is the recent discovery of the importance of the KRAS status (mutant or wild-type) in treatment with cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor. It is this lack of additional prognostic and predictive information that has driven the research into biomarkers.


Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Lynch Syndrome Circulate Tumor Cell BRAF Mutation KRAS Gene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





American Society of Clinical Oncology


Carcinoembryonic antigen


Colorectal cancer


Cancer Research UK


Circulating tumor cell


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Epidermal growth factor


Epidermal growth factor receptor


European Group on Tumor Markers


Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer




V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog


Mismatch repair


Microsatellite instability


Microsatellite stable


Polymerase chain reaction


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyThe Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Paterson Institute for Cancer ResearchManchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of OncologyChristie Hospital NHS Foundation TrustManchesterUK

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