Evolution of colorectal cancer screening research in the past 25 years: text-mining analysis of publication trends and topics

Shelly Soffer*, Eyal Klang, Noam Tau, Roni Zemet, Shomron Ben-Horin, Yiftach Barash, Uri Kopylov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is a growing research effort in the field of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, with varying topics and shifting research foci over the years. The aim of this study was to apply a text-mining technique to evaluate trends in publications for CRC screening in the last 25 years. Methods: We retrieved MEDLINE/PubMed datasets from 1992–2017. We selected keywords from Medical Subject Headings to include CRC screening related publications. For each article, we extracted the following data: title, journal, publication date, abstract, article type, citation frequency, and country of origin. Articles were categorized into topics using word combination and title match technique. Results: In 1992–2017, 14,119 CRC screening related papers were published. The US had the highest number of papers (n = 4824) and China had the highest growth rate in publications. Overall, the most researched topic was “screening and surveillance programs” (38%). The topics of “quality assurance” (r = 0.87) and “racial disparities” (r = 0.91) have gained increased research attention over the years. In total, 11 of the 20 most cited articles in the field were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Conclusion: The number of publications devoted to CRC screening has grown, with high-quality research reaching top-tier journals. A surge in the number of publications has been increasing in countries previously less involved in research in the field. Screening programs remain the most researched topic, and quality indicators is attracting a growing attention. Text-mining analysis of CRC screening research contributes to an understanding of publication trends and topics and can point to the need for potential future investigations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
StatePublished - 2020


  • cancer screening
  • colorectal cancer
  • text mining


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of colorectal cancer screening research in the past 25 years: text-mining analysis of publication trends and topics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this