March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Do You Know About Biomarkers? 

This year, an estimated 135,430 patients in the U.S. will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.1 In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, Amgen is encouraging metastatic colorectal cancer patients to know their biomarker. 

A biomarker is biological molecule found in the blood, other body fluids or tissues that can be a sign of an abnormal process, condition or disease and may be used to see how a patient will respond to treatment.2 Several biomarkers -- including RAS (KRAS, NRAS), BRAF and PIK3CA -- have been identified and are commonly tested for in colorectal cancer, and may be important in helping to create personalized treatment plans that are best suited for each patient.3

The discovery of biomarkers has provided another approach to treating advanced colorectal cancer, and testing for biomarkers has become more readily available. As a pioneer in personalized medicine, our goal at Amgen is to provide patients with the information they need to have an informed conversation with their doctor about their biomarker status and decide on appropriate care. 

We continue to play a significant role in advancing personalized medicine by applying cutting-edge science and technology to the development of innovative drugs and the identification of patients that may be more likely to benefit, or may be at greater risk of adverse effects, from one particular treatment plan versus another. Every patient with colorectal cancer is unique, and their treatment plan can be uniquely tailored to their situation.

All month long, we will be working to raise awareness of colorectal cancer by sharing more information on our Twitter page, @Amgen, follow along with #ColorectalCancer


  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2017. Accessed February 21, 2017.
  2. National Cancer Institute. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms: biomarker. Accessed February 21, 2017.
  3. Therkildsen C, Bergmann TK, Henrichsen-Schnack T, Ladelund S, Nilbert M. The predictive value of KRAS, NRAS, BRAF PIK3CA and PTEN for anti-EGFR treatment in metastatic colorectal cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Oncol. July 2014;53(7):852-864

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