Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
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Academic Editor: Matteo Fassan
Locally advanced rectal cancer (RC) treatment is a challenge, because RC has a high rate of local recurrence. To date preoperative chemoradiotherapy (pCRT) is widely accepted as standard protocol of care for middle-low RC, but complete tumour response rate ranges from 4 to 44% and 5-year local recurrence rate is 6%. Better understanding of molecular biology and carcinogenesis pathways could be used both for pre-neoplastic lesions and locally recurrence diagnosis, and for tumour response prediction to therapy. Circulating molecules, gene expression and protein signature are promising sources to biomarker discovery. Several studies have evaluated potential predictors of response and recently, cell-free Nucleic Acid levels have been associated to tumour response to neoadjuvant therapies. Alternative method is the serum or plasma proteome and peptidome analysis. It may be ideally suited for its minimal invasiveness and it can be repeated at multiple time points throughout the treatment in contrast to tissue-based methods which still remain the most reliable and specific approach. Many studies have analyzed preoperative rectal tissue prognostic factor, but data are controversial or not confirmed.