Molecular markers and targets for colorectal cancer prevention

Naveena B. Janakiram, Chinthalapally V. Rao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the world. If detected at an early stage, treatment often might lead to cure. As prevention is better than cure, epidemiological studies reveal that having a healthy diet often protects from promoting/developing cancer. An important consideration in evaluating new drugs and devices is determining whether a product can effectively treat a targeted disease. There are quite a number of biomarkers making their way into clinical trials and few are awaiting the preclinical efficacy and safety results to enter into clinical trials. Researchers are facing challenges in modifying trial design and defining the right control population, validating biomarker assays from the biological and analytical perspective and using biomarker data as a guideline for decision making. In spite of following all guidelines, the results are disappointing from many of the large clinical trials. To avoid these disappointments, selection of biomarkers and its target drug needs to be evaluated in appropriate animal models for its toxicities and efficacies. The focus of this review is on the few of the potential molecular targets and their biomarkers in colorectal cancers. Strengths and limitations of biomarkers/surrogate endpoints are also discussed. Various pathways involved in tumor cells and the specific agents to target the altered molecular biomarker in biomolecular pathway are elucidated. Importance of emerging new platforms siRNAs and miRNAs technology for colorectal cancer therapeutics is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalActa Pharmacologica Sinica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers and molecular targets
  • Chemoprevention
  • Colon cancer


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