Fecal Tests: From Blood to Molecular Markers

Graeme Young, Linda Bosch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Detection of molecular markers for colorectal neoplasia in feces has the potential to improve performance of simple noninvasive screening tests for colorectal cancer. Most research has explored the value of DNA-based, RNA-based, and protein-based markers. In all cases there has been a trend to move from a single marker to a panel of markers to improve sensitivity. Unfortunately, no type of molecular marker has proved specific for neoplasia. DNA tests have been improved by combining mutation detection with assessment of DNA integrity plus epigenetic markers of neoplasia. RNA-based approaches are just beginning to explore the full power of transcriptomics. So far, no protein-based fecal test has proved better than fecal immunochemical tests for hemoglobin. Finally, no marker or panel of markers has yet been developed to the point where it has been evaluated in large unbiased population studies to assess performance across all stages of neoplasia and in all practical environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-70
    Number of pages9
    JournalCurrent Colorectal Cancer Reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


    • Adenomas
    • Biomarkers
    • Colorectal cancer
    • Genomics
    • Molecular tests
    • Neoplasia
    • Oncogenesis
    • Proteomics
    • Screening
    • Screening tests
    • Sensitivity
    • Specificity
    • Transcriptomics


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