Predictive and prognostic markers in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC): personalized medicine at work

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2015 Feb;29(1):43-60. doi: 10.1016/j.hoc.2014.09.009.


This article clarifies prognostic and predictive markers in the treatment of colorectal cancer. Multiple chemotherapeutic drugs are approved for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), but available guidelines are often not helpful in directing drug selections. It would be desirable to define patient populations before chemotherapy by biomarkers that predict outcome and toxicities. RAS mutational evaluation remains the only established biomarker analysis in the treatment of mCRC. BRAF mutant tumors are associated with poor outcome. Chemotherapeutic combination therapies still remain the most active treatments in the armamentarium, and future trials should address the need to prospectively investigate and validate biomarkers.

Keywords: BRAF; Biomarker; Colorectal cancer; KRAS; NRAS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Precision Medicine
  • Prognosis
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Biomarkers, Tumor