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Br J Cancer. 2010 Dec 7;103(12):1858-69. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605984. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

Prognostic biomarkers in squamous cell carcinoma of the anus: a systematic review.

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  • 1Department of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology, Imperial College London, St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London, W2 1NY, UK. temi.lampejo02@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

recent decades have seen combination chemoradiotherapy become the standard treatment for anal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). However, the burden of this disease continues to rise, with only 10% of patients with metastatic disease surviving >2 years. Further insight into tumour characteristics and molecular biology may identify novel therapeutic targets. This systematic review examines current prognostic markers in SCC of the anus.

METHODS:

an extensive literature search was performed to identify studies reporting on biomarkers in anal cancer in the context of clinical outcome following treatment primarily with chemoradiotherapy.

RESULTS:

in all, 21 studies were included. A total of 29 biomarkers were studied belonging to 9 different functional classes. Of these biomarkers, 13 were found to have an association with outcome in at least one study. The tumour-suppressor genes p53 and p21 were the only markers shown to be of prognostic value in more than one study.

CONCLUSIONS:

an array of biomarkers have been identified that correlate with survival following chemoradiotherapy in anal cancer. However, investigators are yet to identify a biomarker that has the ability to consistently predict outcome in this disease. Further studies are needed to elucidate whether these candidate biomarkers demonstrate their optimum value when they serve as targets for new therapeutic strategies.

2010 Cancer Resaerch UK.

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