Current Colorectal Cancer Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 42–50 | Cite as

Clinical Implications and Quality Assurance of Molecular Testing for EGFR-Targeting Agents in Colorectal Cancer

  • Loredana Vecchione
  • Zenia Saridaki
  • Sabine Tejpar
Personalized Medicine in Colorectal Cancer (WA Messersmith, Section Editor)


The introduction in clinical practice of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies has improved the clinical outcome of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. Nevertheless, only 10% of mCRC tumors respond to these treatments, thus rendering the efforts made to maximize their therapeutic index justified. Although several biomarkers have been identified, we do not know yet how to administer these drugs in colorectal cancer patients in a “personalized–targeted manner.” With this review we will try to demonstrate that we need to go beyond the assumption of a binary relationship between one genetic event and response or resistance to anti-EGFR drugs and that several factors can influence the response to these agents. Therefore, the introduction in future approaches of a holistic genomic discovery plan instead of an individual and specific identification of alterations is needed.


Metastatic colorectal cancer EGFR dependency Anti-EGFR treatments Cetuximab Panitumumab Anti-EGFR moAbs Personalized cancer medicine Colorectal cancer subgroups Molecular subgroups KRAS BRAF PI3KCA NRAS PTEN Amphiregulin Epiregulin HER2 amplification Gene module Gene expression profile FcγRIIa FcγRIIΙa Let7 Anti-EGFR sensitivity Anti-EGFR resistance KRAS testing 



Loredana Vecchione and Zenia Saridaki equally contributed in manuscript writing. Zenia Saridaki is a recipient of a research fellowship from the Hellenic Society of Medical Oncology.


L. Vecchione: none; Z. Saridaki: none; S. Tejpar: honoraria from and educational presentations/speakers’ bureau for Merck Serono.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loredana Vecchione
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zenia Saridaki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sabine Tejpar
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Digestive Oncology UnitUniversity Hospital GasthuisbergLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Center for Human GeneticsKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine and Surgery “F. Magrassi and A. Lanzara,”Second University of NaplesNaplesItaly

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