Genetic prognostic and predictive markers in colorectal cancer.
Walther A., Johnstone E., Swanton C., Midgley R., Tomlinson I., Kerr D.
Despite many studies of the likely survival outcome of individual patients with colorectal cancer, our knowledge of this subject remains poor. Until recently, we had virtually no understanding of individual responses to therapy, but the discovery of the KRAS mutation as a marker of probable failure of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted therapy is a first step in the tailoring of treatment to the individual. With the application of molecular analyses, as well as the ability to perform high-throughput screens, there has been an explosive increase in the number of markers thought to be associated with prognosis and treatment outcome in this disease. In this Review, we attempt to summarize the sometimes confusing findings, and critically assess those markers already in the public domain.