A novel blood test will help enable the physician to monitor the patient''s colorectal cancer (CRC) risk over the course of their screening lifetime, especially for those who are aged 50 years or more.
The blood test does not require any advance preparation, only the collection of a small blood sample, and differs from other tests that often require fasting and other dietary restrictions and with those patients having to collect multiple fecal samples over the course of three days or more.
The test, known as the COLOGIC test, is based on the discovery that approximately nine out of ten patients with colorectal cancer are deficient in novel anticancer and anti-inflammatory metabolites in their blood. COLOGIC detects this deficiency to determine patient risk. The COLOGIC test has a sensitivity of 86% versus an average range of 35% to 61% for fecal occult blood test/fecal immunochemical test (FOBT/FIT). The specificity of the test is reportedly 90%.
Clinical support for COLOGIC includes four published papers outlining the science and clinical outcomes of a study involving 4,923 patients. The test measures levels of gastrointestinal tract acid-446 (GTA-446), a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid present in the serum. The CRC incidence rate in subjects undergoing colonoscopy with low GTA-446 levels was over six times higher than for subjects with normal GTA-446 levels and twice that of subjects with gastrointestinal symptoms.
The COLOGIC test was developed by Phenomenome Discoveries Inc., (Saskatoon, SK, Canada) and will provide an easily understood result on whether the individual has an elevated risk for colon cancer. Mario Castelli MD, a gastroenterologist, said, “Colorectal cancer is a completely preventable disease if we screen for it, and it gets more common as we get older, so that''s why the recommendation is, usually starting at the age of 50, that everyone should be screened. This is a much simpler test. The patient just goes to the laboratory without any preparation, have a blood sample drawn and the results go to your physician within days.” It should be noted that COLOGIC test is not a substitute to colonoscopy. A positive test result should be followed up with a colonoscopy to confirm the presence of cancer.