Molecular predictive markers in tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.

Gastrointestinal malignancies are among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Like all human malignancies they are characterized by accumulation of mutations which lead to inactivation of tumor suppressor genes or activation of oncogenes. Advances in Molecular Biology techniques have allowed for more accurate analysis of tumors’ genetic profiling using new breakthrough technologies such as next generation sequencing (NGS), leading to the development of targeted therapeutical approaches based upon biomarker-selection. During the last 10 years tremendous advances in the development of targeted therapies for patients with advanced cancer have been made, thus various targeted agents, associated with predictive biomarkers, have been developed or are in development for the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal cancer patients. This review summarizes the advances in the field of molecular biomarkers in tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, with focus on the available NGS platforms that enable comprehensive tumor molecular profile analysis.

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