, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 206-215
Date: 05 Mar 2011

Predictive and Prognostic Markers in Colorectal Cancer

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Abstract

Colorectal cancer (CRC) has a complex pathogenesis involving multiple sequential steps with accumulation of genetic alterations including mutations, gene amplification, and epigenetic changes. Treatment of CRC has undergone a paradigm shift over the past decade due in part to a better understanding of the biology of the disease and development of newer drugs including biologic agents. In the era of personalized medicine, it is attractive to investigate the molecular pathways leading to colorectal cancer tumorigenesis, thus raising the possibility of identifying novel therapeutic targets. It has intuitive appeal to hypothesize that biomarkers that have prognostic and/or predictive value are those that are intimately connected to the pathogenesis of CRC. In this article, we focus on prognostic and predictive markers in CRC that have a substantial body of data in support of their potential role in routine clinical practice.