WEDNESDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Seeking to increase
screenings for colorectal cancer, scientists say they have
developed an inexpensive and effective method that uses less than
one milliliter (mL) of a patient's blood.
In trials, the new approach -- referred to as a microRNA -- has
successfully detected disease in patients already diagnosed with
Next, the research team will launch screening tests among a
larger group of patients who show symptoms of the disease. These
patients will also undergo colonoscopies, which will be used to
confirm the new diagnostic tool's effectiveness.
"Our test has the potential to be safe, cheap, robust, accurate and of little or no inconvenience to the individual, and could, therefore, easily be integrated into national screening programs as part of an annual checkup," study author Dr. Soren Jensby Nielsen, a scientific manager with Denmark-based Exiqon A/S, said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research.
"We envision that this type of miRNA profile, once developed and marketed as a screening kit, can be used to screen entire populations in order to facilitate a focused selection of individuals who should undergo colonoscopy," Nielsen added.
Nielsen and his colleagues were to present their findings
Wednesday in Denver at an American Association for Cancer Research
The authors note that colorectal cancer is the second-leading
cause of cancer-related fatalities in developed nations.
Early-stage diagnostic methods do exist, and the disease is
considered to be curable with surgical intervention, if caught
But fewer than half of all Americans over the age of 50 undergo
the kind of routine colorectal screening currently recommended,
He hopes the new approach can help boost screenings and reduce
For more on colorectal cancer, visit the
U.S. National Cancer Institute.
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