We explain the state of the art of the immunohistochemical markers of response in rectal cancers treated with neoadjuvant medical therapies and its implication with prognosis. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy is widely used to improve the outcome of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, and the evaluation of the effects of medical therapy is to date based on histomorphological examination by applying four grading systems of response to therapy (tumor regression grade (TRG)). The need to identify immunohistochemical markers that could ensure a better assessment of response and possibly provide additional prognostic information has emerged. We identified p53, p27kip1, Ki67, matrix metalloprotease-9, survivin, Ki67 proliferative index, CD133, COX2, CD44v6, thymidylate synthase, thymidine phosphorylase, and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase as the most common markers studied in literature to date, and we explained their prognostic potential and their implications in the evaluation of the response to preoperative therapies in rectal cancers.
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