Taxiarchis Konstantinos Nikolouzakis 1 , Loukia Vassilopoulou 2 , Persefoni Fragkiadaki 2 , Theodoros Mariolis Sapsakos 3 , Georgios Z. Papadakis 4 , Demetrios A. Spandidos 5 , Aristides M. Tsatsakis 2 , John Tsiaoussis 1
21 March 2018
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the most common cancers. In fact, it is placed in the third place among the most diagnosed cancer in men, after lung and prostate cancer, and in the second one for the most diagnosed cancer in women, following breast cancer. Moreover, its high mortality rates classifies it among the leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Thus, in order to help clinicians to optimize their practice, it is crucial to introduce more effective tools that will improve not only early diagnosis, but also prediction of the most likely progression of the disease and response to chemotherapy. In that way, they will be able to decrease both morbidity and mortality of their patients. In accordance with that, colon cancer research has described numerous biomarkers for diagnostic, prognostic and predictive purposes that either alone or as part of a panel would help improve patient's clinical management. This review aims to describe the most accepted biomarkers among those proposed for use in CRC divided based on the clinical specimen that is examined (tissue, faeces or blood) along with their restrictions. Lastly, new insight in CRC monitoring will be discussed presenting promising emerging biomarkers (telomerase activity, telomere length and micronuclei frequency).