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Circulating Nucleic Acids in Colorectal Cancer: Diagnostic and Prognostic Value.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prevalent cancer in the world and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related mortality. DNA (cfDNA/ctDNA) and RNA (cfRNA/ctRNA) in the blood are promising noninvasive biomarkers for molecular profiling, screening, diagnosis, treatment management, and prognosis of CRC. Technological advancements that enable precise detection of both genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, even in minute quantities in circulation, can overcome some of these challenges. This review focuses on testing for circulating nucleic acids in the circulation as a noninvasive method for CRC detection, monitoring, detection of minimal residual disease, and patient management. In addition, the benefits and drawbacks of various diagnostic techniques and associated bioinformatics tools have been detailed.

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