Molecular assessment of colorectal cancer (CRC) is receiving growing attention, beyond RAS and BRAF, because of its influence on prognosis and prediction in cancer treatment. PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue), a tumor suppressor, regulating cell division and apoptosis, has been explored, and significant evidence suggests a role in cetuximab and panitumumab resistance linked to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signal transduction pathway. Factors influencing PTEN activity should be analyzed to develop strategies to maximize the tumor suppressor role and to improve tumor response to cancer treatment. Therefore, an in-depth knowledge of the PI3K-Akt pathway-one of the major cancer survival pathways-and the role of PTEN-a major brake of this pathway-is essential in the era of precision medicine. The purpose of this literature review is to summarize the role of PTEN as a predictive factor and possible therapeutic target in CRC, focusing on ongoing studies and the possible implications in clinical practice.
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