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Abdom Radiol (NY). 2016 Aug;41(8):1441-4. doi: 10.1007/s00261-016-0798-4.

Emerging stool-based and blood-based non-invasive DNA tests for colorectal cancer screening: the importance of cancer prevention in addition to cancer detection.

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Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, E3/311 Clinical Science Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI, 53792-3252, USA.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening can be undertaken utilizing a variety of distinct approaches, which provides both opportunities and confusion. Traditionally, there has often been a trade-off between the degree of invasiveness of a screening test and its ability to prevent cancer, with fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and optical colonoscopy (OC) at each end of the spectrum. CT colonography (CTC), although currently underutilized for CRC screening, represents an exception since it is only minimally invasive, yet provides accurate evaluation for advanced adenomas. More recently, the FDA approved a multi-target stool DNA test (Cologuard) and a blood-based test (Epi proColon) for average-risk CRC screening. This commentary will provide an overview of these two new non-invasive tests, including the clinical indications, mechanism of action, and diagnostic performance. Relevance to radiology practice, including a comparison with CTC, will also be discussed.

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