Japanese Society of Medical Oncology Clinical Guidelines: Molecular Testing for Colorectal Cancer Treatment, 4th Edition

Colorectal Cancer

Ebi H, et al. Cancer Sci 2020.


Molecular testing to select the appropriate targeted and standard of care therapies is essential for managing patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The Japanese Society of Medical Oncology previously published clinical guidelines for molecular testing in CRC. In the third edition published in 2018, RAS and BRAF V600E mutations should be tested prior to first-line chemotherapy to assess the benefit of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody therapy in patients with unresectable

CRC. Microsatellite instability (MSI) testing was recommended in patients with curatively resected stage II CRC because deficient mismatch repair is associated with low risk of recurrence. MSI testing was also recommended in patients with CRC suspected to be Lynch syndrome. The main aim of this fourth edition is to reflect recent advances in comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) tests and liquid biopsy. Here, CGP tests performed on tumor tissues are strongly recommended to assess the benefit of molecular targeted drugs in patients with CRC. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)-based CGP tests are also proposed. ctDNA testing is recommended to determine the optimal treatment based on the risk of recurrence for curatively resected CRC and evaluate the suitability and monitor the therapeutic effects of anti-EGFR antibodies in patients with unresectable CRC. While both MSI testing and immunohistochemistry are strongly recommended to determine the indication of immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with unresectable CRC, next-generation sequencing-based tests are weakly recommended because these tests were not validated in clinical trials.