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.

    For more information, please visit the Colvera order page.

  • 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 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 7-12 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