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J Korean Soc Coloproctol. 2009 Apr;25(2):129-138. Korean. Review.
Lee KY .
Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Colorectal cancer is a disease developed by the accumulation of genomic alteration. Two genomic instability pathways, chromosomal instability pathway and microsatellite instability pathway, are known as the main pathways of the development of colorectal cancer. These are almost always mutually exclusive and tumors developed through each pathways show distinct clinicopathologic features. For the reason, molecular markers which represent each genomic instability pathways have been a candidate for translational research to find out prognostic or predictive factors. Loss of heterozygosity and aneuploidy are the hallmark of chromosomal instability and regarded as poor prognostic markers, whereas tumors with high frequency of microsatellite instability show better prognosis than microsatellite stable tumor. As a predictive factor of response from chemotherapy, loss of heterozygosity seems to be associated with a survival benefit from 5-FU adjuvant therapy. MSI-H has been reported as a predictive factor for poor response to 5-FU adjuvant chemotherapy. However, these molecular markers are not accepted to use in the clinic yet, since some of this kind of studies reported contradictory results. Further study will be needed to make more concrete evidences for these markers and to identify new molecular markers for routine use in the clinic.

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