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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6896024, 12 pages
Review Article

Predictive Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer: From the Single Therapeutic Target to a Plethora of Options

1Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
2ICVS/3B’s-PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Campus of Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
3Laboratory of Medical Investigation (LIM) 14, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, 01246-903 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Molecular Oncology Research Centre, 14784-400 Barretos, SP, Brazil
5Surgery Department, Hospitalar Center Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Unidade Hospitalar de Chaves, Avenida Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro, 5400-279 Chaves, Portugal

Received 7 December 2015; Revised 17 May 2016; Accepted 4 July 2016

Academic Editor: Anthony Antoniou

Copyright © 2016 Daniela Rodrigues 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.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most frequent cancers and is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Treatments used for CRC may include some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The current standard drugs used in chemotherapy are 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin in combination with irinotecan and/or oxaliplatin. Most recently, biologic agents have been proven to have therapeutic benefits in metastatic CRC alone or in association with standard chemotherapy. However, patients present different treatment responses, in terms of efficacy and toxicity; therefore, it is important to identify biological markers that can predict the response to therapy and help select patients that would benefit from specific regimens. In this paper, authors review CRC genetic markers that could be useful in predicting the sensitivity/resistance to chemotherapy.