Precision treatment in colorectal cancer: Now and the future

Tung On Yau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Until recently, a one-drug-fits-all model was applied to every patient diagnosed with the same condition. But not every condition is the same, and this has led to many cases of ineffective treatment. Pharmacogenetics is increasingly used to stratify patients for precision medicine treatments, for instance, the UGT1A1*28 polymorphism as a dosage indicator for the use of irinotecan as well as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) immunohistochemistry and KRAS Proto-Oncogene (KRAS) exon 2 mutation tests for determining the likelihood of treatment response to cetuximab or panitumumab treatment in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). The other molecular subtypes, such as KRAS exon 3/4, B-Raf Proto-Oncogene, NRAF, PIK3CA, and PETN, were also reported as potential new pharmacogenetic targets for the current and the newly discovered anticancer drugs. In addition to next-generation sequencing (NGS), primary tumor cells for in vivo and in vitro drug screening, imaging biomarker 3′-Deoxy-3′-18F-fluorothymidine positron emission tomography, and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection methods are being developed and may represent the future direction of precision medicine. This review will discuss the current environment of precision medicine, including clinically approved targeted therapies, the latest potential therapeutic agents, and the ongoing pharmacogenetic trials for CRC patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-369
Number of pages9
JournalJGH Open
Issue number5
Early online date8 Feb 2019
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • chemotherapy
  • colorectal cancer
  • epidermal growth factor receptor
  • personalized medicine
  • precision treatment
  • vascular endothelial growth factor


Dive into the research topics of 'Precision treatment in colorectal cancer: Now and the future'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this