Serum tests for colorectal cancer screening

James Creeden, Frank Junker, Sabine Vogel-Ziebolz, Douglas Rex

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations


Colorectal cancer (CRC) persists as one of the most significant causes of cancer death worldwide. Recent progress in reducing cancer mortality can largely be attributed to the implementation of screening programs. However, screening programs have not realized their full potential for the reduction of CRC mortality, because of poor adherence rates among patients. Serum biomarker screening tests offer the potential for improved patient adherence to CRC screening programs.In this review, we assess the literature regarding serum biomarkers for use as CRC screening tests for colorectal cancer and adenomas. A systematic review was performed of Medline-indexed articles pertaining to serum biomarkers for CRC screening published within the past 4 years. In addition, we searched non-Medline sources for information pertaining to screening guidelines and practice patterns for CRC. We identified 51 articles from Medline pertaining to serum biomarkers as screening tests for CRC. Non-Medline sources yielded an additional 12 articles, for a total of 63 publications reviewed. We conclude that serum tests that involve simple blood draws during routine check-ups hold significant promise for improving patient acceptance and adherence to CRC screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 25 2011


  • Biomarkers
  • Colorectal-cancer
  • Diagnostic-tests
  • Screening.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology

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  • Cite this

    Creeden, J., Junker, F., Vogel-Ziebolz, S., & Rex, D. (2011). Serum tests for colorectal cancer screening. Molecular Diagnosis and Therapy, 15(3), 129-141.