Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer‐related death in the Western world. Early detection decreases incidence and mortality. Screening programs based on fecal occult blood testing help identify patients requiring endoscopic examination, but accuracy is far from op-timal. Among the alternative strategies, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) represent novel potentially useful biomarkers of colorectal cancer. They also represent a promising tool for the screening of both intestinal inflammation and related CRC. The review is focused on the diagnostic potential of VOCs in sporadic CRC and in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which increase the risk of CRC, analyzing future clinical applications. Despite limitations related to inadequate strength of evidence, differing analytical platforms identify different VOCs, and this unconventional approach for diagnosing colorectal cancer is promising. Some VOC profiles, besides identifying inflamma-tion, seem disease‐specific in inflammatory bowel diseases. Thus, breath, urine, and fecal VOCs provide a new and promising clinical approach to differential diagnosis, evaluation of the inflammatory status, and possibly the assessment of treatment efficacy in IBD. Conversely, specific VOC patterns correlating inflammatory bowel disease and cancer risk are still lacking, and studies focused on this issue are strongly encouraged. No prospective studies have assessed the risk of CRC development by using VOCs in samples collected before the onset of disease, both in the general population and in patients with IBD.

Are volatile organic compounds accurate markers in the assessment of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases? A review

Vernia F.;Valvano M.;Stefanelli G.;Longo S.;Viscido A.;Latella G.
2021

Abstract

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer‐related death in the Western world. Early detection decreases incidence and mortality. Screening programs based on fecal occult blood testing help identify patients requiring endoscopic examination, but accuracy is far from op-timal. Among the alternative strategies, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) represent novel potentially useful biomarkers of colorectal cancer. They also represent a promising tool for the screening of both intestinal inflammation and related CRC. The review is focused on the diagnostic potential of VOCs in sporadic CRC and in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which increase the risk of CRC, analyzing future clinical applications. Despite limitations related to inadequate strength of evidence, differing analytical platforms identify different VOCs, and this unconventional approach for diagnosing colorectal cancer is promising. Some VOC profiles, besides identifying inflamma-tion, seem disease‐specific in inflammatory bowel diseases. Thus, breath, urine, and fecal VOCs provide a new and promising clinical approach to differential diagnosis, evaluation of the inflammatory status, and possibly the assessment of treatment efficacy in IBD. Conversely, specific VOC patterns correlating inflammatory bowel disease and cancer risk are still lacking, and studies focused on this issue are strongly encouraged. No prospective studies have assessed the risk of CRC development by using VOCs in samples collected before the onset of disease, both in the general population and in patients with IBD.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/172957
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