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Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2011 Jun;10(2):73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.clcc.2011.03.001. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Prognostic and predictive markers in stage II colon cancer: is there a role for gene expression profiling?

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, The Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


Conventional clinical and pathologic risk factors in stage II colon cancer provide limited prognostic information and do not predict response to adjuvant 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy. New prognostic and predictive biomarkers are needed to identify patients with highest recurrence risk who will receive the greatest absolute risk reduction from adjuvant chemotherapy. We review below the evidence for conventional risk factors in patients with node-negative colon cancer, followed by a discussion of promising new molecular and genetic markers in this malignancy. Gene expression profiling is an emerging tool with both prognostic and predictive potential in oncology. For patients with stage II colon cancer, the Oncotype DX Colon Cancer test is now commercially available as a prognostic marker, and the ColoPrint assay is expected to be released later this year. Current evidence for both of these assays is described below, concluding with a discussion of potential future directions for gene expression profiling in colon cancer risk stratification and treatment decision making.

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