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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 2139489, 10 pages
Review Article

Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms as Prognostic and Predictive Factors of Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Colorectal Cancer of Stages I and II

1University Medical Centre Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
2Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Human Molecular Genetics and Pharmacogenomics, University of Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
3Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Laboratory for Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genomics, University of Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
4University Medical Centre Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 24 July 2015; Accepted 11 November 2015

Academic Editor: Masood A. Shammas

Copyright © 2016 Matej Horvat 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 a highly heterogeneous disease regarding the stage at time of diagnosis and there is special attention regarding adjuvant chemotherapy in unselected patients with stage I and stage II. The clinicohistologically based TNM staging system with emphasis on histological evaluation of primary tumor and resected regional lymph nodes remains the standard of staging, but it has restricted sensitivity resulting in false downward stage migration. Molecular characteristics might predispose tumors to a worse prognosis and identification of those enables identifying patients with high risk of disease recurrence. Suitable predictive markers also enable choosing the most appropriate therapy. The current challenge facing adjuvant chemotherapy in stages I and II CRC is choosing patients with the highest risk of disease recurrence who are going to derive most benefit without facing unnecessary adverse effects. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are one of the potential molecular markers that might help us identify patients with unfavorable prognostic factors regarding disease initiation and recurrence and could determine selection of an appropriate chemotherapy regimen in the adjuvant and metastatic setting. In this paper, we discuss SNPs of genes involved in the multistep processes of cancerogenesis, metastasis, and the metabolism of chemotherapy that might prove clinically significant.