Published online May 15, 2013. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v5.i5.97
Revised: March 26, 2013
Accepted: April 10, 2013
Published online: May 15, 2013
Core tip: This review outlines clearly the normal function of the mitogen-activated protein kinases and phosphoinositide-3 kinase cascades, in which the RAS proto-oncogene operates physiologically. It also describes the mutations in these pathways that lead to colorectal cancer (CRC), as well as other mutations outside these cascades affecting RAS function and also leading to CRC. The prognostic value of each mutation is assessed and linked to response rates to available biological treatments. Monoclonal antibodies under development are also briefly discussed.