Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were produced to human haptoglobin by immunising with fecal extracts from patients with colon cancer. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was developed with one of the mAbs (FE14.1), and its ability to diagnose colorectal carcinoma evaluated. Patients with colorectal cancer were positive (43/46 = 93.5%) compared to normal individuals (4/211 = 1.9%). The assay has a specificity 93.5% and sensitivity 98.1% and has several advantages over current fecal occult blood tests. The test is potentially useful for bowel cancer diagnosis and to quantitate the level of haptoglobin in other body fluids such as urine and in effusions.