Should you consider COLVERA?

Every year there are approximately 140,000 newly diagnosed colorectal cancer cases in the United States. Following primary treatment, 30-50% of patients will see their cancer return, most of which will be within the first 2 – 3 years.1,2

Although, the risk of recurrence varies by stage at time of diagnosis, more treatment options may be available when recurrence is detected early.

Early detection of recurrent colorectal cancer allows for additional treatment options and improved patient care. That’s why we developed COLVERA, a simple blood test designed to help identify recurrent colorectal cancer early when more treatment options are available.

COLVERA can be ordered and performed with or without CEA during routinely scheduled follow up visits, and provides additional information to monitor care more confidently and to determine whether further testing should be considered.

Learn more about Long Term Survivorship Care from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance

How COLVERA works

When cancer grows, the tumor may shed small pieces of DNA into the blood stream, known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). COLVERA can detect these small amounts of ctDNA containing changes often seen in colorectal cancer but not in normal blood.

Testing with COLVERA is quick and easy:

  • Two tubes of blood are drawn
  • Samples are sent to the Clinical Genomics laboratory
  • The blood is processed using sensitive technology that analyzes changes to the genes associated with colorectal cancer
  • Reliable results are provided to physicians within 7-12 days


In a head to head clinical study, COLVERA detected twice as many recurrent colorectal cancer cases compared to CEA. Of 122 patients who were tested after completion of their initial treatment, 28 patients developed a recurrent disease confirmed by CT scan. COLVERA detected recurrence in 19 of the 28 patients compared to only 9 of 28 patients detected by CEA.1

Answers to common questions

What is COLVERA?
COLVERA is a blood test that may help detect colorectal cancer (CRC) recurrence. With COLVERA it may be possible to identify CRC recurrence in advance of symptoms, and possibly before other tests indicate recurrence.
How does COLVERA work?
COLVERA is designed to identify small amounts of altered DNA which may leak from a tumor into the bloodstream, called circulating tumor DNA or ctDNA. COLVERA detects the presence or absence of two genes in ctDNA, (BCAT1 and IKZF1), that are often associated with CRC growth.  While COLVERA detects changes found in most recurrent tumors, COLVERA may not be positive in all patients. COLVERA does not identify DNA changes that you may have inherited from your parents or pass on to your children.
What is the difference between COLVERA and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)?
COLVERA identifies the presence of two altered genes, (BCAT1 and IKZF1),in small fragments of DNA material that leak from a tumor into the blood stream, called circulating tumor DNA or ctDNA. CEA measures the amount of a protein that may appear in the blood of a patient with colorectal cancer. Although CEA has been used for over three decades to monitor patients, the test is not positive in many patients with cancer and may yield false positive results that can be caused by smoking and other non-cancer conditions. Head-to-head clinical evaluation in a recently published study showed that COLVERA detected twice as many recurrent colorectal cancers as CEA.
How can I get tested with COLVERA?
If your healthcare provider determines that COLVERA is right for you, your provider can order the test during your follow up office visit. Your blood can be drawn in office during your follow up appointment or at a Quest Diagnostics® Patient Service Center (PSC) near your provider’s office.
Can blood be drawn in my physicians office?
Yes. Blood can be conviently drawn in office during the time of your follow up appointment.
Do I need to fast before having my blood drawn?
There is no need to change or modify your diet for testing.
What is the specimen type required for testing?
COLVERA only requires two 9-10 mL tubes of whole blood.  This is equivalent to about 1.5 tablespoons of blood.
How long does it take to receive my results?
Your healthcare provider will receive your test results from the Clinical Genomics Laboratory within 7-12 days.
How is COLVERA reported?
COLVERA results are reported as positive or negative.

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