Original Publication Date: 1 December, 2016
Publication / Source: Colorectal Cancer
Authors: Matthew Burge& Vicki Whitehall
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy and represents a global health burden. In developed nations, the prognosis for patients has improved in recent years due to a combination of earlier diagnosis, surgical resection of metastases, a broadening armamentarium of effective drugs and supportive care.
In the setting of metastatic disease, prognosis varies substantially between patients. Traditionally, clinical factors, such as disease bulk, performance status, biochemical parameters and comorbidities have given the treating oncologist insight into a given patient’s future, thus aiding treatment selection. While these factors remain as important as ever, novel molecular markers have emerged with the V600E mutation of the BRAF gene, present in approximately 5–10% of patients, being one of the most important.