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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer worldwide and accounts for 10% of all new cancer diagnoses. Angiogenesis is a tightly regulated process that is mediated by a group of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptors. Given the widespread use of antiangiogenic agents in CRC, there has been considerable interest in the development of methods to identify novel markers that can predict outcome in the treatment of this disease with angiogenesis inhibitors. Multiple biomarkers are in various phases of development and include tissue, serum, and imaging biomarkers. The complexity of the angiogenesis pathway and the overlap between the various angiogenic factors present a significant challenge to biomarker discovery. In our review, we discuss the angiogenesis pathway and the most promising evolving concepts in biomarker discovery, as well as highlight the landmark studies that identify subgroups of patients with CRC who may preferentially benefit from angiogenesis inhibitors.
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