Current and future molecular diagnostics in colorectal cancer and colorectal adenoma

Andy Hin Fung Tsang, Ka Ho Cheng, Apple Siu Ping Wong, Simon Siu Man Ng, Brigette Buig Yue Ma, Charles Ming Lok Chan, Nancy Bo Yin Tsui, Wing Chi Chan, Yat Ming Yung, Sze Chuen Cesar Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers in developed countries. On the other hand, CRC is also one of the most curable cancers if it is detected in early stages through regular colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Since CRC develops slowly from precancerous lesions, early detection can reduce both the incidence and mortality of the disease. Fecal occult blood test is a widely used non-invasive screening tool for CRC. Although fecal occult blood test is simple and cost-effective in screening CRC, there is room for improvement in terms of the accuracy of the test. Genetic dysregulations have been found to play an important role in CRC development. With better understanding of the molecular basis of CRC, there is a growing expectation on the development of diagnostic tests based on more sensitive and specific molecular markers and those tests may provide a breakthrough to the limitations of current screening tests for CRC. In this review, the molecular basis of CRC development, the characteristics and applications of different non-invasive molecular biomarkers, as well as the technologies available for the detection were discussed. This review intended to provide a summary on the current and future molecular diagnostics in CRC and its pre-malignant state, colorectal adenoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3847-3857
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Colorectal adenoma
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Fecal occult blood test
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Noninvasive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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