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Gut. 2011 Jan;60(1):116-29. doi: 10.1136/gut.2009.206250. Epub 2010 Oct 4.

Colorectal cancer molecular biology moves into clinical practice.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Washington, USA.


The promise of personalised medicine is now a clinical reality, with colorectal cancer genetics at the forefront of this next major advance in clinical medicine. This is no more evident than in the recent advances in testing of colorectal cancers for specific molecular alterations in order to guide treatment with the monoclonal antibody therapies cetuximab and panitumumab, which target the epidermal growth factor receptor. In this review, genetic mechanisms of colorectal cancer and how these alterations relate to emerging biomarkers for early detection and risk stratification (diagnostic markers), prognosis (prognostic markers) and the prediction of treatment responses (predictive markers) are examined.

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