New molecular diagnosis and screening methods for colorectal cancer using fecal protein, DNA and RNA

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Several screening methods for reducing the mortality rate of colorectal cancer (CRC) have been reported in recent decades. Fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs) are widely used for CRC screening and immunochemical FOBTs perform better than guaiac FOBTs; however, the sensitivity and specificity of immunochemical FOBTs remain unsatisfactory. To resolve this problem, novel fecal molecular methods based on fecal protein, DNA and RNA analyses have been developed. Regarding fecal proteins, several marker proteins indicating intestinal bleeding and cancer cell-specific proteins have been investigated. Regarding fecal DNA, numerous gene mutation and gene methylation analyses have been reported. Consequently, fecal DNA analysis was recommended as a CRC screening method in 2008. In addition, gene expression analyses of CRC-specific genes and miRNAs in fecal RNA have been investigated over the last decade. This review article summarizes molecular methods using fecal samples for CRC screening, focusing on reports within the last 5 years.

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