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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9850690, 12 pages
Review Article

Molecular Diagnostics for Precision Medicine in Colorectal Cancer: Current Status and Future Perspective

1Department of Pathology, Penn State College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, USA
2Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Received 31 May 2016; Accepted 10 August 2016

Academic Editor: Gokce Toruner

Copyright © 2016 Guoli Chen 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.


Precision medicine, a concept that has recently emerged and has been widely discussed, emphasizes tailoring medical care to individuals largely based on information acquired from molecular diagnostic testing. As a vital aspect of precision cancer medicine, targeted therapy has been proven to be efficacious and less toxic for cancer treatment. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers and among the leading causes for cancer related deaths in the United States and worldwide. By far, CRC has been one of the most successful examples in the field of precision cancer medicine, applying molecular tests to guide targeted therapy. In this review, we summarize the current guidelines for anti-EGFR therapy, revisit the roles of pathologists in an era of precision cancer medicine, demonstrate the transition from traditional “one test-one drug” assays to multiplex assays, especially by using next-generation sequencing platforms in the clinical diagnostic laboratories, and discuss the future perspectives of tumor heterogeneity associated with anti-EGFR resistance and immune checkpoint blockage therapy in CRC.