Pharmacoepigenomics in colorectal cancer: A step forward in predicting prognosis and treatment response

Kim M. Smits, Arjen H G Cleven, Matty P. Weijenberg, Laura A E Hughes, James G. Herman, Adriaan P. De Brune, Manon Van Engeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Despite therapeutic innovations and increasing education on lifestyle to prevent colorectal cancer, it is still one of the most common cancer types, and for men the second cause of cancer-related death. Lately, much attention has been given to identify molecular markers involved in colorectal cancer prognosis and treatment with the aim to develop a more accurate classification system based on (epi)genetic alterations and, in addition, find markers that could potentially enhance management of colorectal cancer by predicting treatment response in advance. Although many genetic markers have been claimed to have prognostic or predictive influence, results are often inconclusive and, with some exception, they are not used in standard practice. Epigenetic alterations have received less attention although they are probably even more interesting as they can potentially be reversed through drug treatment. This review describes the current knowledge on the prognostic and predictive value of epigenetic markers in colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1903-1916
Number of pages14
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • colorectal cancer
  • epigenetics
  • pharmacoepigenomics
  • pharmacogenetics
  • prognosis
  • treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine


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