[en] Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of death among cancer patients. This heterogeneous disease is characterized by alterations in multiple molecular pathways throughout its development. Mutations in RAS, along with the mismatch repair gene deficiency, are currently routinely tested in clinics. Such biomarkers provide information for patient risk stratification and for the choice of the best treatment options. Nevertheless, reliable and powerful prognostic markers that can identify “high-risk” CRC patients, who might benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, in early stages, are currently missing. To bridge this gap, genomic information has increasingly gained interest as a potential method for determining the risk of recurrence. However, due to several limitations of gene-based signatures, these have not yet been clinically implemented. In this review, we describe the different molecular markers in clinical use for CRC, highlight new markers that might become indispensable over the next years, discuss recently developed gene expression-based tests and highlight the challenges in biomarker research.
Fondation Cancer (F1R-LSC-PAU-13HY2C), Proof of Concept grant (PoC18/12554295) through the FNR, Foundation Vera Nijs and Jens Erik Rosborg