Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer related mortality in the Western world. In recent years, combination 5-fluorouracil based adjuvant chemotherapy as first line treatment of this disease has led to improved disease free and overall survival. However drug resistance, both innate and acquired, remains an obstacle in the effective treatment of this disease. Apoptotic pathways are frequently altered in both tumor progression and drug resistance; therefore proteins associated with this pathway may have potential as prognostic biomarkers for this disease. Identification of clinical biomarkers that are able to identify patients who are more likely to respond to specific chemotherapy will lead to more personalized, effective, and less toxic therapy. This review focuses on the current status of apoptosis related proteins as biomarkers for colorectal cancer and discusses the possible application of systems approaches in this context.
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland ->