Ongoing Clinical Trials and Future Research Scenarios of Circulating Tumor DNA for the Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2024 Feb 16:S1533-0028(24)00006-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clcc.2024.02.001. Online ahead of print.


Liquid biopsy using circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) has emerged as a minimally invasive, timely approach to provide molecular diagnosis and monitor tumor evolution in patients with cancer. Since the molecular landscape of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) is substantially heterogeneous and dynamic over space and time, ctDNA holds significant advantages as a biomarker for this disease. Numerous studies have demonstrated that ctDNA broadly recapitulates the molecular profile of the primary tumor and metastases, and have mainly focused on the genotyping of RAS and BRAF, that is propaedeutic for anti-EGFR treatment selection. However, ctDNA soon broadened its scope towards the assessment of early tumor response, as well as the identification of drug resistance biomarkers to drive potential molecular actionability. In this review article, we provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art of this methodology and its applications, focusing on ongoing clinical trials that employ ctDNA to prospectively guide treatment in patients with mCRC.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; RAS; Resistance dynamics; anti-EGFR; ctDNA.

Publication types

  • Review