Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common human malignancies accounting for approximately 10% of worldwide cancer incidence and mortality. While early-stage CRC is mainly a preventable and curable disease, metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) remains an unmet clinical need. Moreover, about 25% of CRC cases are diagnosed only at the metastatic stage. Despite the extensive molecular and functional knowledge on this disease, systemic therapy for mCRC still relies on traditional 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemotherapy regimens. On the other hand, targeted therapies and immunotherapy have shown effectiveness only in a limited subset of patients. For these reasons, there is a growing need to define the molecular and biological landscape of individual patients to implement novel, rationally driven, tailored therapies. In this review, we explore current and emerging approaches for CRC management such as genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis, the use of liquid biopsies and the implementation of patients’ preclinical avatars. In particular, we discuss the contribution of each of these tools in elucidating patient specific features, with the aim of improving our ability in advancing the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal tumors.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.