Targeted Therapeutic Agents for Colorectal Cancer

Cheng E. Chee, Frank A. Sinicrope

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) has evolved substantially during the past decade with the advent of molecular targeted therapies. Inhibitors to the vascular endothelial growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathways have been shown to enhance the efficacy of cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with advanced CRC, and anti-EGFR antibodies demonstrate modest activity as monotherapeutic agents. These biologic agents have improved patient outcomes and survival and have been incorporated into routine clinical practice establishing a new standard of care. Molecular markers have recently been adopted into clinical practice with the finding that the KRAS oncogene is a predictive biomarker for anti-EGFR therapy, whereby the therapeutic benefit of anti-EGFR treatment is restricted to tumors with wild-type KRAS. The use of molecular targeted agents has fewer yet more specific toxicities compared with conventional cytotoxic drugs and enables a more personalized approach to cancer therapy. In contrast to the results for advanced CRC, targeted therapies have not shown a benefit in the adjuvant setting for patients with resected colon cancer. The goal of this review is to provide an update on the medical management of CRC, with a focus on the use of targeted therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-613
Number of pages13
JournalGastroenterology Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Colorectal cancer
  • EGFR
  • Targeted therapy
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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