Detection of colorectal cancer at an early stage may significantly decrease mortality from the disease. The current screening test of colonoscopy is of high efficacy, but its acceptance in the general public is rather low. Availability of a blood- or stool-based test of DNA methylation markers is expected to improve the screening compliance for colon cancer in the general population. The goal of this review is to describe the recent advances in DNA methylation markers of stool and blood for early detection of colon cancer, and envisage future developments toward their clinical availability. More investigations should be performed to promote both basic and clinical research of DNA methylation markers in patients with colon cancer.
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