Predictive and prognostic markers in colorectal cancer

Curr Oncol Rep. 2011 Jun;13(3):206-15. doi: 10.1007/s11912-011-0162-3.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Chromosome Disorders / diagnosis
  • Chromosome Disorders / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 18 / genetics
  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • DCC Receptor
  • DNA Mismatch Repair / genetics*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity / genetics
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Smad4 Protein / genetics
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • ras Proteins / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DCC Receptor
  • DCC protein, human
  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • SMAD4 protein, human
  • Smad4 Protein
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • PIK3CA protein, human
  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins

Supplementary concepts

  • Chromosome 18 deletion syndrome