Molecular tests for colorectal cancer screening

Linda J W Bosch, Beatriz Carvalho, Remond J A Fijneman, Connie R. Jimenez, Herbert M. Pinedo, Manon Van Engeland, Gerrit A. Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Detecting and removing high-risk adenomas and early colorectal cancer (CRC) can reduce mortality of this disease. The noninvasive fecal occult blood test (FOBT; guaiac-based or immunochemical) is widely used in screening programs and although effective, it leaves room for improvement in terms of test accuracy. Molecular tests are expected to be more sensitive, specific and informative than current detection tests, and are promising future tools for CRC screening. This review provides an overview of the performances of DNA, RNA, and protein markers for CRC detection in stool and blood. Most emphasis currently is on DNA and protein markers. Among DNA markers there is trend to move away from mutation markers in favor of methylation markers. The recent boost in proteomics research leads to many new candidate protein markers. Usually in small series, some markers show better performance than the present FOBT. Evaluation in large well-controlled randomized trials is the next step needed to take molecular markers for CRC screening to the next level and warrant implementation in a screening setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-23
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Colorectal Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood
  • DNA markers
  • FIT
  • FOBT
  • Protein markers
  • RNA
  • Stool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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