The body of evidence supporting the utility of the detection of molecular residual disease (MRD) in resected colorectal cancer (CRC) using circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis is rapidly growing. Furthermore, this evidence provides the rationale for escalation and de-escalation adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) strategies using ctDNA MRD analysis. This has led to various randomized clinical trials, and CIRCULATE-Japan is one of the largest of these trial platforms. In this review, we provide an overview of the potential utility of ctDNA-based MRD detection for escalation and de-escalation ACT approaches. Furthermore, we highlight the feasibility using ctDNA clearance as a surrogate endpoint for ACT trials in patients with resected CRC, based on findings of the CIRCULATE-Japan project.
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