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Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2010 Jul;7(7):367-80. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2010.84. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

Molecular circuits of solid tumors: prognostic and predictive tools for bedside use.

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INSERM U981, Department of Medicine, Institut Gustave Roussy, 114 rue Edouard Vaillant, 94805 Villejuif, France.


The explosion of knowledge in cancer biology in the past two decades has led to the identification of specific molecular circuits in solid tumors. These pathways reflect specific abnormalities thought to drive malignant progression. This knowledge has also generated a vast panel of cancer biomarkers although many of these biomarkers lack sufficient research and validation to be used in the clinic. This Review discusses relevant molecular prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers in the six leading tumors with the highest contribution to cancer mortality: breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, pancreatic and ovarian cancer. Each biomarker is described according to its associated clinicopathological presentation and specific associated molecular interactions. Despite only few biomarkers being currently implemented in clinical practice, a new generation of predictors is emerging that could modify the classic organ-based cancer classification (for example, defects in DNA repair, aberrant MAPK signaling and aberrant PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling). The advent of high-throughput strategies will also probably substitute monobiomarker strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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