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Using a Multimodal Blood Test to Identify Colorectal Cancer

A novel multimodal FirstSightCRC test can identify colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps as well as advanced adenomas. Results from the blood-based assay can help doctors determine whether a patient should get a colonoscopy.

The blood test can detect multiple cancers in the blood. This noninvasive test can help doctors intervene earlier before the polyps turn into cancer.

During a study, scientists evaluated patients scheduled for a colonoscopy but had no history of colorectal cancer. When their blood was analyzed with the FirstSight assay, they found an association between the patients’FirstSight Scores and polyp size and number. The test offered 100% sensitivity and 90% specificity in detecting colorectal cancer and 75% for identifying advanced adenomas and colorectal cancer.

The FirstSight assay can evaluate three biomarkers, including circulating gastrointestinal epithelial cells, methylation with Septin9 of cell-free tumor DNA (cfDNA), and validated somatic oncogene and tumor suppressor mutations. These biomarkers are critical in predicting the number of polyps and size, and the methylation status and DNA mutation.

Researchers pointed out the need for more noninvasive methods to help detect precancer and cancer, and the promise of FirstSight assay in colorectal cancer. They also noted that the blood test came at the right time when finding an effective early treatment for colorectal cancer is needed.

Colon cancer causes plenty of morbidities and mortalities across the world. Although there are excellent screening methods available, they’re invasive, and it’s not been easy to catch it early and intervene before the precancerous polyps progress to cancer. The new blood test is noninvasive and has high sensitivity and specificity.

This blood test can detect cancers and precancerous polyps as well. If a patient has multiple polyps, the test will give a higher score, and if the polyps are bigger, the test score will also increase. Other tests are based on methylation tests in the blood and DNA mutations, which is only suitable for identifying cancer.

A more extensive study is underway to show that the blood test can work for everyone and should be adopted as a novel screening method.

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