Molecular profile of colorectal cancer in Indonesia: Is there another pathway?

Murdani Abdullah, Aru Wisaksono Sudoyo, Ahmad R. Utomo, Achmad Fauzi, Abdul Aziz Rani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Colorectal cancer is an emerging public health problem in Indonesia and currently ranks among the three highest cancers. Lack of a colonoscopy screening and lifestyle changes might contribute to it. In the last few decades, there is an increasing interest towards the contribution of genetic-environment interaction in colorectal carcinogenesis. Some studies have indicated that CRC might develop through several different pathways; the three major routes are chromosomal instability (CIN), microsatellite instability (MSI), and inflammatory pathways. An earlier study on clinical epidemiology of CRC in Indonesia showed that the majority of patients were diagnosed between 45 and 50 years old, with a mean age around 47 years old. Further studies showed that most young Indonesian cases of CRC do not have hereditary characteristics; however, the CRC did not follow the conventional pathways of sporadic CRC (the CIN) pathway. Rather, it is a mixed of MSI and inflammatory pathways. Immunohistochemical studies showed that the proportion of patients with negative mismatch repair proteins was 43.5% for MSH2 and 83.5% for MLH1. Along the sporadic colorectal carcinogenesis pathway, there was a specific role of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme during the polyp formation. COX-2 expression was reported in about 80% CRC cases worldwide. However, our study found only 49% of COX-2 expression among the CRC patients. Interestingly, an inflammatory marker, the nucleus factor κB (NF-κB), was expressed in about 73.5% cases, in line with a previous study. More recently, KRAS has been used as a potential tumor marker to select treatment and its expression was reported to be as high as 30%-40% worldwide. However, we found that KRAS gene expression was only 16.3%. Our findings support that CRC patients in Indonesian might follow a distinct pathway, a hypothesis that deserves further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalGastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Indonesia
  • Molecular profile


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