Surgery Blog for Surgeons

Detection of tumor DNA in stool samples

A recent publication from the laboratory institute in the University Hospital in Hamburg, Germany discusses a new approach to diagnosing colorectal carcinoma: detection of tumor DNA in stool samples. Here is the abstract of the publication in the german "Aerzteblatt":

Detection of tumour DNA in stool is a new screening approach aimed at improving the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer. DNA from colorectal adenomas or carcinomas can be detected using specific mutations or methylation patterns. Altered DNA can in principle be detected in a high excess of normal DNA with high sensitivity, but low cost routine screening assays have yet to be developed. The combination of markers and methods must be refined to detect early stage tumours reliably. Only a test with high sensitivity could replace colonoscopy as the recommended screening method in the future.