Detection of colorectal cancer by a quantitative fluorescence determination of DNA amplification in stool

Daniele Calistri, Claudia Rengucci, Arturo Lattuneddu, Gianfranco Francioni, Anna Maria Polifemo, Oriana Nanni, Luca Saragoni, Franco Monti, Alberto Ravaioli, Wainer Zoli, Dino Amadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA amplification of exfoliated cells in stool represents an inexpensive and rapid test, but has only 50% to 60% sensitivity. A new quantitative method, called fluorescence long DNA, was developed and validated in our laboratory on stool obtained from 86 patients with primary colorectal cancer and from 62 healthy individuals. It consists of the amplification of stool DNA with fluorescence primers and the quantification of the amplification using a standard curve. Results are arbitrarily expressed in nanograms. The potential of the new method compared to the conventional approach was analyzed in a subgroup of 94 individuals (56 patients and 38 healthy volunteers). In the present series, DNA amplification analysis showed a specificity of 97% and a sensitivity of only 50%. Conversely, fluorescence DNA evaluation, using the best cutoff of 25 ng, showed a sensitivity of about 76% and a specificity of 93%. Similar sensitivity was observed regardless of Dukes stage, tumor location, and size, thus also permitting the detection of early-stage tumors. The present study seems to indicate that quantitative fluorescence DNA determination in stool successfully identifies colorectal cancer patients with a sensitivity comparable, if not superior, to that of multiple gene analysis but at a lower cost and in a shorter time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-540
Number of pages5
JournalNeoplasia (United States)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • DNA amplification
  • Molecular markers
  • Stool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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