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A simple blood test for colon cancer
Date:11/20/2008

People are often reluctant to undergo a routine but painful colonoscopy ― but the consequences can be fatal. According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer found in American men and women and kills about 50,000 Americans every year.

"85% of those who develop colon cancer have no symptoms or family history," says Prof. Nadir Arber, a professor of medicine and gastroenterology, at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine. "Generally speaking, it's much harder to get these people to comply with taking the test."

To convince more people to undergo the potentially life-saving colonoscopy, Prof. Arber has developed a simple early-warning test that can detect colon cancer in the blood. Using biomarkers, it is the first test on the market that can detect cells of colon polyps the precursors to colon cancer in the blood, with a very high degree of sensitivity and accuracy.

This painless, non-invasive and inexpensive test could very well be a breakthrough of the decade.

An Attractive Diagnostic Step

"If we can identify those who are prone to cancer through a less invasive test, we can convince them to do the colonoscopy," leading to earlier detection and treatment, says Prof. Arber, who heads the Integrated Cancer Prevention Center at the Tel Aviv Souraski Medical Center.

Now being prepared for the market by Bio Mark Ltd., a subsidiary of Micromedic Technologies Ltd., Prof. Arber's "CD24" test could begin to save thousands of Americans' lives by as early as 2010. With the test, doctors can catch polyp growth in the colon in 80% of patients.

The American Cancer Society suggests that all Americans over the age of 50 receive periodic colonoscopies. With Prof. Arber's test, doctors will be able to screen patients for colon cancer quickly and easily as part of a routine blood test. While not 100% accurate, it will provide a convincing argument fo
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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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