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New test offers greater accuracy in early detection of colorectal cancer
Date:1/19/2012

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Results of two studies suggest that a new, investigational colorectal cancer screening test developed in a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences Inc. of Madison, Wis., is highly accurate and significantly more sensitive than other noninvasive tests at detecting precancerous tumors (adenomas) and early-stage cancer. These findings have important implications for clinicians and tens of thousands of Americans. Early detection is a key driver of better outcomes for colorectal cancer -- a disease that affects 1 in every 17 persons and is the second-leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths.

The first study, to be published in the February issue of Gastroenterology, shows that a new multi-marker stool DNA test is highly accurate at detecting precancerous polyps and early-stage colorectal cancer. This is the first large-scale, blinded study to measure the new test's effectiveness.

The second study, to be published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, shows that the stool DNA test is significantly more accurate than a new plasma test for identifying patients with large precancerous polyps or colorectal cancer , while delivering fewer false-positive results.

"Our findings in these studies underscore the great potential of the stool DNA test as a colorectal cancer screening tool," says lead author David Ahlquist, M.D., of Mayo Clinic, principal investigator of both studies. "Along with its high accuracy, this test approach could improve participation rates due to its patient-friendly features. The test is noninvasive; requires no bowel preparation, medication restriction, or diet change; and can be performed on mailed-in samples without the need, expense, or inconvenience of a health care visit."

The stool DNA test works by finding signature genetic markers in stool samples mailed in by patients. A positive test would be followed by a colonoscopy to remove t
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Contact: Brian Kilen
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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