Published online Jul 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i25.5678
Peer-review started: March 22, 2016
First decision: May 12, 2016
Revised: May 16, 2016
Accepted: June 15, 2016
Article in press: June 15, 2016
Published online: July 7, 2016
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide, which is consequence of multistep tumorigenesis of several genetic and epigenetic events. Since CRC is mostly asymptomatic until it progresses to advanced stages, the early detection using effective screening approaches, selection of appropriate therapeutic strategies and efficient follow-up programs are essential to reduce CRC mortalities. Biomarker discovery for CRC based on the personalized genotype and clinical information could facilitate the classification of patients with certain types and stages of cancer to tailor preventive and therapeutic approaches. These cancer-related biomarkers should be highly sensitive and specific in a wide range of specimen(s) (including tumor tissues, patients’ fluids or stool). Reliable biomarkers which enable the early detection of CRC, can improve early diagnosis, prognosis, treatment response prediction, and recurrence risk. Advances in our understanding of the natural history of CRC have led to the development of different CRC associated molecular and cellular biomarkers. This review highlights the new trends and approaches in CRC biomarker discovery, which could be potentially used for early diagnosis, development of new therapeutic approaches and follow-up of patients.
Core tip: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common leading causes of cancer death in the world; therefore, any attempt in early diagnosis, selection of appropriate therapeutic strategies and efficient follow up can play an important role in reducing the disease related mortalities. Our review highlights the novel trends and approaches in CRC biomarker discovery, which are categorized as pathologic genetic or epigenetic changes within the tumor tissue as well as non-invasive biomarkers such as blood or stool based markers. These biomarkers could be used for the management of cancer patients.