Colorectal cancer screening: prospects for molecular stool analysis

Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 Mar;5(3):199-209. doi: 10.1038/nrc1569.


Colorectal cancer is common. As many patients present with advanced disease, an effective screening test would have substantial clinical benefits. Recent progress in understanding the biology of colorectal cancer (and of cancer cells in general) has led to possible new approaches to screening. In particular, there are prospects of developing tests based on analysis of stool, which promise improved accuracy, safety, affordability and patient compliance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Feces*
  • Genetic Markers*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / trends*
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Genetic Markers