As new improvements in the treatment of colorectal cancer have become available, it has become important to understand the benefits of new therapies or the deleterious effects stemming from the increased risk of toxicity. In particular, a more rational approach to adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with stage II/III disease should be defined by understanding which patients have a higher recurrence risk. Many studies have investigated several molecular markers, but none has been definitively associated with patient outcome. We present a review of studies that have evaluated the immunohistochemical correlation between expression of some biomarkers, such as thymidylate synthase, p53, Ki-67, Bcl-2, and microsatellite instability status expressed by Mut-L homologue 1 and Mut-S homologue 2 proteins, and the prognosis of patients with stage II/III colorectal cancer. We have evaluated studies in which ≥ 100 patients were involved in an effort to ensure a representative study group. The only biomarker likely to have a prognostic value is microsatellite instability status, which correlated with a better prognosis.
Clinical Colorectal Cancer, Vol. 6, No. 1, 38–45, 2006