Personalized colon cancer care in 2010

Semin Oncol. 2011 Apr;38(2):284-308. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2011.01.001.


Colon cancer (CC) therapies have improved patient outcomes significantly over the last decades in both the adjuvant and metastatic settings. With the introduction of a number of novel agents, both traditional chemotherapies and biologically targeted agents, the need to identify subgroups that are likely and not likely to respond to a particular treatment regimen is paramount. This will allow patients who are likely to benefit to receive optimal care, while sparing those unlikely to benefit from unnecessary toxicity and cost. With the identification of several novel biomarkers and a variety of technologies to interrogate the genome, we already are able to rapidly study patient tumor or blood samples and normal tissues to generate a large dataset of aberrations within the cancer. How to digest this complex information to obtain accurate, reliable, and meaningful results that will allow us to provide truly personalized care for CC patients is just starting to be addressed. In this article, we briefly review the history of CC treatment, with an emphasis on current clinical standards that incorporate a "personalized medicine" approach. We then review strategies that will potentially improve our ability to individualize therapy in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomal Instability
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating
  • Ploidies
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins / genetics


  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins