Background: The current prognostication of patient survival after surgery for colorectal liver metastases is based on clinical characteristics, but low accuracy makes it difficult to guide treatment for the individual patient. Rapidly evolving technologies have led to the expectation that biomarkers will be able to outperformthe current clinical scoring systems and provide more effective personalised treatment. Two main topics prevail in cancer treatment, namely the role of the immune system and the prediction and prognostication by application of high-throughput methodology. The aim of this review is to examine the evidence for prognostic immunological and molecular markers studied in tumour tissue obtained at surgical resection for colorectal liver metastases.
Methods: First we analysed immunophenotypical protein markers, that are mainly studied by immunohistochemistry. Second, we review molecular markers by analysing high-throughput studies on tumour mRNA and microRNA expression.
Results: CD3, CD4, and CD8 are the most frequently studied protein markers. High intra-tumoural CD3+ T cell infiltration and low CXCR4 expression have the best association with favourable patient survival. Studies that analysed microRNA or mRNA expression data showed very little overlap in prognostic genes.
Conclusions: Patient prognostication after surgery for colorectal liver metastases by analysing the immune system remains difficult. Current data are based on diverse and heterogeneous patient populations which prohibits drawing firm conclusions.
- colorectal liver metastases
- immune system
- OUTCOME FOLLOWING RESECTION
- IMMUNOGENIC CELL-DEATH
- EXPRESSION PROFILES
- HEPATIC RESECTION
- CXCR4 EXPRESSION
- EARLY RECURRENCE