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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 591867, 8 pages
Review Article

Current Approaches for Predicting a Lack of Response to Anti-EGFR Therapy in KRAS Wild-Type Patients

1Division of Molecular Diagnostics, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
2Translational Research Center, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
3Center for Lipid Biosciences, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, 100 Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
4Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute, No. 195, Section 4, Chung-Hsing Road, Chutung, Hsinchu 31040, Taiwan
5Department of Gastroenterology, Donostia Hospital, Biodonostia Institute, Center for Biomedical Research in Network for Hepatic and Digestives Diseases (CIBERehd), Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBERehd), University of Basque Country, 20014 San Sebastian, Spain

Received 19 February 2014; Accepted 23 April 2014; Published 18 June 2014

Academic Editor: Mina Hur

Copyright © 2014 Tze-Kiong Er et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been one of the most effective colorectal cancer strategies. Anti-EGFR antibodies function by binding to the extracellular domain of EGFR, preventing its activation, and ultimately providing clinical benefit. KRAS mutations in codons 12 and 13 are recognized prognostic and predictive biomarkers that should be analyzed at the clinic prior to the administration of anti-EGFR therapy. However, still an important fraction of KRAS wild-type patients do not respond to the treatment. The identification of additional genetic determinants of primary or secondary resistance to EGFR targeted therapy for further improving the selection of patients is urgent. Herein, we review the latest published literature highlighting the most important genes that may predict resistance to anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies in colorectal cancer patients. According to the available findings, the evaluation of BRAF, NRAS, PIK3CA, and PTEN status could be the right strategy to select patients who are likely to respond to anti-EGFR therapies. In the future, the combination of those biomarkers will help establish consensus that can be introduced into clinical practice.