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Australian Discovered Biomarkers Map Path to New Blood Test for Bowel Cancer
Date:5/20/2012

SAN DIEGO, May 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of Australian scientists has identified new genes that show identifiable changes in the blood of people with bowel cancer.

The discovery has the potential to underpin a new cost-effective blood test that would signal the early stages of bowel cancer. This test could potentially save thousands of lives by supplementing existing screening programs and encouraging those at risk to have a colonoscopy.

The research[1] - presented earlier today for the first time at a major medical conference in the United States - is the result of over five years of scientific collaboration between Australian biotechnology company Clinical Genomics, CSIRO and the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer at Flinders University in Adelaide, lead by senior investigator Professor Graeme Young.

A new blood test for bowel cancer based on these discoveries is now under development and is currently being tested with patients from Australia, the United States and Europe. The Australian research team is hoping to attract interest from other clinicians and scientists around the world to help them further validate the new test.

Dr Lawrence LaPointe, CEO of Clinical Genomics, said they have shown a high detection rate for bowel cancer while also demonstrating a false positive rate of about 5% in samples drawn from a high-risk population.

"These clinical trial results are highly promising but we need to go one step at a time. The next step is to seek help from other groups and researchers to cast the net more broadly to see what we can achieve with a larger number of tests drawn from a sample of the general population," Dr LaPointe said.

"There is still some time to go before a blood based test of this nature might be broadly available to a community but the technology is clearly worthy of broader, rigorous testing.

 Importantly, a simple blood test like this could significantly improve patient par
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SOURCE Clinical Genomics
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