Predictive and prognostic biomarkers in personalized gastrointestinal cancer treatment
Biomarkers play an important role in the detection and management of cancer patients. In gastrointestinal cancer, there is increasing interest in their development and validation according to specific tumor type. Prognostic biomarkers enable identification of patients with a more aggressive tumor evolution, while predictive biomarkers permit the identification of patients with a higher probability of responding or not to a specific treatment. Several biomarkers are currently widely employed in gastrointestinal cancers. These include rat sarcoma-2 virus (RAS) which is used to identify colorectal cancer (CRC) patients who will not respond to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) agents, while in gastric cancer, anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) therapy has been shown to only be active in HER2-positive patients. In pancreatic cancer, BRCA is a tool used to differentiate patients who are likely to respond to platinum-based combination therapies and to benefit from poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. This review provides an update of the main biomarkers currently used in colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cancers, and reviews those that are being developed.