Researchers have developed a new colorectal cancer screening test which, by measuring hemoglobin and two proteins, can detect the disease at an earlier stage.
- Researchers have developed a new colorectal cancer screening test.
- This measures hemoglobin – like the current screening test – but also two proteins.
- This could help detect the disease at an earlier stage.
A new screening test, which makes it possible to detect colorectal cancer at an earlier stage, is what researchers from the Dutch Cancer Instituteof the’Amsterdam UMC and D’Erasmus MCin a recent study published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.
A new screening test that measures hemoglobin and two proteins
In France, every two years, French people aged 50 to 74 are invited to take a colorectal cancer screening test, as part of the national screening program. According to health insurance“this test is based on the detection in stools of blood not visible to the naked eye (hemoglobin constituting red blood cells) thanks to the use of antibodies”.
The current colorectal cancer screening test works but “it can be improved”indicates Gerrit Meijer, principal investigator of the study, in a communicated. “We want to be able to detect tumors before they become invasive.”
The new screening test, called multitargetFIT (mtFIT), measures hemoglobin, along with two proteins, in patients’ stool samples. In their work, the researchers compared the results obtained with the current test (which only measures hemoglobin) and with the mtFIT among more than 13,000 participants in the Dutch national screening program.
Thus, the current test made it possible to detect abnormalities in 159 people, compared to 299 with the mtFIT. And, more importantly, of these, 114 high-risk cases were screened with the current test, compared to 216 with the new one.
Detect colorectal cancer earlier
“New test helps detect early signs of cancer more effectivelyexplains Gerrit Meijer. This test could reduce the number of new cases of colorectal cancer and resulting mortality.”
At this time, mtFIT cannot replace the current test. “The next crucial step is to produce the test on an industrial scale in accordance with European diagnostic testing guidelines”, concludes Gerrit Meijer.
A new test that could therefore save lives. Every year, more than 47,000 people are affected by colorectal cancer in France, according to the Panorama of cancers in France – 2023 edition. This disease is also responsible for 17,000 deaths per year. However, if detected early, this cancer can be cured in nine out of ten cases.