Introduction: Outcomes in metastatic colorectal cancer are improving, due to the tailoring of therapy enabled by better understanding of clinical behavior according to molecular subtype. Areas covered: A review of the literature and recent conference presentations was undertaken on the topic of systemic treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. This review summarizes expert discussion of the current evidence for therapies in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) based on molecular subgrouping. Expert opinion: EGFR-targeted and VEGF-targeted antibodies are now routinely incorporated into treatment strategies for mCRC. EGFR-targeted antibodies are restricted to patients with extended RAS wild-type profiles, with evidence that they should be further restricted to patients with left-sided tumors. Clinically distinct treatment pathways based on tumor RAS, BRAF, HER2 and MMR status, are now clinically applicable. Evidence suggests therapy for additional subgroups will soon be defined; the most advanced being for patients with KRAS G12 C mutation and gene TRK fusion defects.