Predictive response biomarkers in rectal cancer neoadjuvant treatment

Marco Agostini, Sara Crotti, Chiara Bedin, Erika Cecchin, Isacco Maretto, Edoardo D'Angelo, Salvatore Pucciarelli, Donato Nitti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Locally advanced rectal cancer (RC) treatment is a challenge, because RC has a high rate of local recurrence. To date preoperative chemoradiotherapy (pCRT) is widely accepted as standard protocol of care for middle-low RC, but complete tumour response rate ranges from 4 to 44% and 5-year local recurrence rate is 6%. Better understanding of molecular biology and carcinogenesis pathways could be used both for pre-neoplastic lesions and locally recurrence diagnosis, and for tumour response prediction to therapy. Circulating molecules, gene expression and protein signature are promising sources to biomarker discovery. Several studies have evaluated potential predictors of response and recently, cell-free Nucleic Acid levels have been associated to tumour response to neoadjuvant therapies. Alternative method is the serum or plasma proteome and peptidome analysis. It may be ideally suited for its minimal invasiveness and it can be repeated at multiple time points throughout the treatment in contrast to tissue-based methods which still remain the most reliable and specific approach. Many studies have analyzed preoperative rectal tissue prognostic factor, but data are controversial or not confirmed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Scholar
Volume6 S
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Circulating biomarkers
  • Gene expression
  • Peptides
  • Rectal cancer
  • Review
  • Tissutal biomarkers
  • Tumour response prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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