The clinical relevance of gene expression based prognostic signatures in colorectal cancer

Pankaj Ahluwalia, Ravindra Kolhe, Gagandeep K Gahlay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers, with more than one million new cases every year. In the last few decades, several advancements in therapeutic and preventative levels have reduced the mortality rate, but new biomarkers are required for improved prognosis. The alterations at the genetic and epigenetic level have been recognized as major players in tumorigenesis. The products of gene expression in the form of mRNA, microRNA, and long-noncoding RNA, have started to emerge as important regulatory molecules, playing an important role in cancer. Gene-expression based prognostic risk scores, which quantify and compare their expression, have emerged as promising biomarkers with enormous clinical value. These composite multi-gene models in which more than one gene is used to predict prognosis have been shown to be significantly effective in identifying patients with multiple clinico-pathological risks like overall mortality, response to chemotherapy, risk of metastasis, etc. The advent of microarray and advanced sequencing technologies have led to the generation of large datasets like TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) and GEO (Gene Expression Omnibus), which have fueled the search for new biomarkers. Continuous evaluation of these candidate biomarkers in clinical settings is promising to improve the management of CRC. These composite gene signatures provide potential in identifying high-risk patients, which might help clinicians to better manage these patients and design appropriate personalized therapeutic interventions. In this review, we emphasize on composite prognostic scores from diverse resources with clinical utility in CRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188513
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number2
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jan 22 2021


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