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World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Feb 7;22(5):1745-55. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i5.1745.

Colorectal cancer tumour markers and biomarkers: Recent therapeutic advances.

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Gustaw Lech, Maciej Słodkowski, Ireneusz Wojciech Krasnodębski, Department of General, Gastroenterological and Oncological Surgery, Medical University of Warsaw, 02097 Warsaw, Poland.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among females and third among males worldwide. It also contributes significantly to cancer-related deaths, despite the continuous progress in diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Biomarkers currently play an important role in the detection and treatment of patients with colorectal cancer. Risk stratification for screening might be augmented by finding new biomarkers which alone or as a complement of existing tests might recognize either the predisposition or early stage of the disease. Biomarkers have also the potential to change diagnostic and treatment algorithms by selecting the proper chemotherapeutic drugs across a broad spectrum of patients. There are attempts to personalise chemotherapy based on presence or absence of specific biomarkers. In this review, we update review published last year and describe our understanding of tumour markers and biomarkers role in CRC screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Goal of future research is to identify those biomarkers that could allow a non-invasive and cost-effective diagnosis, as well as to recognise the best prognostic panel and define the predictive biomarkers for available treatments.


Anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy; BRAF mutation; Biomarker; Carcinoembryonic antigen; Chromosome 18q loss of heterozygosity; Colorectal cancer; Colorectal cancer biomarkers; KRAS mutation; Microsatellite instability; PIK3CA mutation

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