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Transl Oncol. 2011 Apr 1;4(2):71-82.

Selecting Potential Targetable Biomarkers for Imaging Purposes in Colorectal Cancer Using TArget Selection Criteria (TASC): A Novel Target Identification Tool.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Surgical Research Laboratory/BioOptical Imaging Center, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) of colorectal origin is associated with a poor prognosis. However, cytoreductive surgery combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is available for a selected group of PC patients, which significantly increases overall survival rates up to 30%. As a consequence, there is substantial room for improvement. Tumor targeting is expected to improve the treatment efficacy of colorectal cancer (CRC) further through 1) more sensitive preoperative tumor detection, thus reducing overtreatment; 2) better intraoperative detection and surgical elimination of residual disease using tumor-specific intraoperative imaging; and 3) tumor-specific targeted therapeutics. This review focuses, in particular, on the development of tumor-targeted imaging agents. A large number of biomarkers are known to be upregulated in CRC. However, to date, no validated criteria have been described for the selection of the most promising biomarkers for tumor targeting. Such a scoring system might improve the selection of the correct biomarker for imaging purposes. In this review, we present the TArget Selection Criteria (TASC) scoring system for selection of potential biomarkers for tumor-targeted imaging. By applying TASC to biomarkers for CRC, we identified seven biomarkers (carcinoembryonic antigen, CXC chemokine receptor 4, epidermal growth factor receptor, epithelial cell adhesion molecule, matrix metalloproteinases, mucin 1, and vascular endothelial growth factor A) that seem most suitable for tumor-targeted imaging applications in colorectal cancer. Further cross-validation studies in CRC and other tumor types are necessary to establish its definitive value.

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