Could we decide adjuvant therapy of colon cancer based on microarrays?
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- Coyle, V.M., Allen, W.L. & Johnston, P.G. Curr colorectal cancer rep (2007) 3: 137. doi:10.1007/s11888-007-0022-6
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world. Early stage CRC is potentially curable by surgery alone, but about 40% of these patients will develop recurrent disease. In stage III CRC, a survival benefit has been demonstrated for adjuvant 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, but the role of adjuvant chemotherapy in stage II CRC is less well defined. There is, therefore, a need to identify those patients with early stage CRC who are most at risk of developing recurrent disease and would derive most benefit from adjuvant therapy. New high-throughput technologies such as microarray-based gene expression profiling have enabled the identification of panels of markers predictive of recurrence; these have been the subject of a number of studies performed in early stage CRC. This review discusses both these studies and the “classic” prognostic biomarkers in CRC, including the potential use of such markers in prospective studies.