Early detection by screening significantly reduces mortality from colorectal cancer, but 40% of guideline-eligible patients are not screened as recommended in the United States. Novel strategies to improve screening uptake overall and efforts to deploy best practices to underserved populations are a high priority for health care. This review focuses on existing biomarkers in practice and those in development with clinical relevance to early detection of colorectal neoplasia, with an emphasis on those developed by investigators of the NCI's Early Detection Research Network. Aberrantly methylated DNA markers (blood and stool), stool-based markers (including fecal immunochemical test-DNA), and a variety of blood-based marker assays in development (protein markers, glycoproteins including mucins, and cell-free DNA tests) are reviewed. Individual markers and biomarker panels, sample resources, and barriers to translating biomarkers to clinical practice are discussed.See all articles in this CEBP Focus section, "NCI Early Detection Research Network: Making Cancer Detection Possible."
©2020 American Association for Cancer Research.