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 help detect colorectal cancer (CRC) recurrence by measuring small amounts of altered DNA in the blood which may leak from a tumor into the bloodstream. This is called “circulating tumor DNA” or ctDNA. Colvera detects the presence or absence of two ctDNA genes (BCAT1 and IKZF1) that are often associated with CRC.  Small amounts of this altered DNA released from a tumor can be found in blood but not in other normal tissues. 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 is designed to help detect CRC recurrence by measuring fragments of altered DNA material that leak from a tumor into the blood stream.  During cancer growth and spreading, tumors may release small amounts of altered DNA in the blood stream.  This is called  “circulating tumor DNA” or ctDNA.  Colvera is a clinically validated blood test that detects the presence in ctDNA of two altered genes (BCAT1 and IKZF1) associated with colorectal cancer.

    The CEA test measures the amount of a protein that may appear in the blood of a CRC patient. Although CEA has been used for over three decades to monitor patients for cancer relapse and spreading, 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 must be drawn at a Quest Diagnostics® Patient Service Center (PSC) near your provider’s office.

    For more information, please visit the Colvera order page.

  • Can blood be drawn in my physicians office?

    You should be directed to a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center (PSC) for their blood draw, as special processing is needed for the sample at this time.

  • Do I need to be fasting before having the test?

    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 7-10 days.

  • How is Colvera reported?

    Colvera reports simply indicate the presence or absence of ctDNA, which may be from recurrent colorectal cancer.

  • Is Colvera covered by insurance?

    Clinical Genomics believes everyone should have access to the most innovative medical technology available, and we are committed to ensuring that Colvera is accessible and affordable. We accept all insurance plans and will bill on behalf of the patient. In addition, Clinical Genomics has a Financial Assistance Program with multiple payment plans available based on the patient’s financial situation. We are dedicated to excellence and are here to assist with any questions or concerns you and your family members may have.

    To learn more about our patient-friendly Billing Policy and Assistance Programs please call 855-400-6919 or email