Noninvasive biomarkers of colorectal cancer: Role in diagnosis and personalised treatment perspectives

Gianluca Pellino, Gaetano Gallo, Pierlorenzo Pallante, Raffaella Capasso, Alfonso De Stefano, Isacco Maretto, Umberto Malapelle, Shengyang Qiu, Stella Nikolaou, Andrea Barina, Giuseppe Clerico, Alfonso Reginelli, Antonio Giuliani, Guido Sciaudone, Christos Kontovounisios, Luca Brunese, Mario Trompetto, Francesco Selvaggi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It has been estimated that more than one-third of patients are diagnosed when CRC has already spread to the lymph nodes. One out of five patients is diagnosed with metastatic CRC. The stage of diagnosis influences treatment outcome and survival. Notwithstanding the recent advances in multidisciplinary management and treatment of CRC, patients are still reluctant to undergo screening tests because of the associated invasiveness and discomfort (e.g., colonoscopy with biopsies). Moreover, the serological markers currently used for diagnosis are not reliable and, even if they were useful to detect disease recurrence after treatment, they are not always detected in patients with CRC (e.g., CEA). Recently, translational research in CRC has produced a wide spectrum of potential biomarkers that could be useful for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of these patients. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the newer noninvasive or minimally invasive biomarkers of CRC. Here, we discuss imaging and biomolecular diagnostics ranging from their potential usefulness to obtain early and less-invasive diagnosis to their potential implementation in the development of a bespoke treatment of CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2397863
Number of pages21
JournalGastroenterology Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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