The Role of Predictive Molecular Biomarkers for the Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

James J. Lee, Edward Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major public health problem in the USA and globally. Over the past 20 years, significant advances have been made in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Recent efforts have focused on developing molecular biomarkers to further define the subset of patients with mCRC who would derive a substantial benefit from anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy. Activating mutations in KRAS and NRAS are a predictive marker for resistance to anti-EGFR therapy in mCRC. BRAFV600E and PIK3CA mutations have been reported as negative predictive markers for anti-EGFR therapy in mCRC. Microsatellite instability and immunologic biomarkers may be predictive markers for immunotherapy, including immune-checkpoint inhibitors in the near future. Next-generation sequencing technology is a powerful new tool for the discovery of predictive molecular biomarkers and to facilitate the delivery of personalized medicine. Herein, we review the current status of predictive molecular biomarker research in the treatment of mCRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Colorectal Cancer Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • BRAF
  • Circulating tumor DNA
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Immunologic markers
  • KRAS
  • Liquid biopsies
  • Microsatellite instability
  • Molecular biomarkers
  • NRAS
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • PI3K
  • Predictive marker
  • Prognostic marker
  • VEGF
  • Whole-exome sequencing
  • Whole-genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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