Genomic and oncoproteomic advances in detection and treatment of colorectal cancer.
AIMS: We will examine the latest advances in genomic and proteomic laboratory technology. Through an extensive literature review we aim to critically appraise those studies which have utilized these latest technologies and ascertain their potential to identify clinically useful biomarkers. METHODS: An extensive review of the literature was carried out in both online medical journals and through the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland library. RESULTS: Laboratory technology has advanced in the fields of genomics and oncoproteomics. Gene expression profiling with DNA microarray technology has allowed us to begin genetic profiling of colorectal cancer tissue. The response to chemotherapy can differ amongst individual tumors. For the first time researchers have begun to isolate and identify the genes responsible. New laboratory techniques allow us to isolate proteins preferentially expressed in colorectal cancer tissue. This could potentially lead to identification of a clinically useful protein biomarker in colorectal cancer screening and treatment. CONCLUSION: If a set of discriminating genes could be used for characterization and prediction of chemotherapeutic response, an individualized tailored therapeutic regime could become the standard of care for those undergoing systemic treatment for colorectal cancer. New laboratory techniques of protein identification may eventually allow identification of a clinically useful biomarker that could be used for screening and treatment. At present however, both expression of different gene signatures and isolation of various protein peaks has been limited by study size. Independent multi-centre correlation of results with larger sample sizes is needed to allow translation into clinical practice.