Gastrointestinal Malignancies

Current Treatment Options in Oncology

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 339-351

First online:

Progress in the Development of Prognostic and Predictive Markers for Gastrointestinal Malignancies

  • Crystal S. DenlingerAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • , Steven J. CohenAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center Email author 

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Opinion statement

Gastrointestinal cancers remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. While increasing therapeutic options have improved outcomes for many patients, they have also complicated treatment decision-making. Unfortunately, most patients with advanced gastrointestinal malignancies die from their disease. Prognostic and predictive markers could improve treatment significantly by identifying patients who may or may not require a given therapy, and determining those most likely to benefit from a therapy. Candidates for such markers include blood antigens and circulating tumor cells, tumor enzyme and gene expression, and pharmacodynamic endpoints. In this review, we summarize reported and ongoing research to define and validate prognostic and predictive markers in gastrointestinal malignancies, with an emphasis on colorectal cancer and brief overview of pancreatic and neuroendocrine tumors.