25 August 2015
An innovative blood test that can detect the presence of precancerous polyps, a key indicator of the development of colon cancer, has been created by a team of Canadian researchers.
It is hoped that the test will be able to complement the existing colonoscopy-based methods of diagnosis. While using internal cameras is already helping to detect colon cancer in the earliest stages and save lives, the procedure often requires sedation, and can put many patients off seeking prompt diagnosis.
While there is already a non-invasive screening method which involves the analysis of stool samples, it is not always reliable. This is because many early types of colon cancer are asymptomatic, meaning that the technique of looking for the presence of blood in the samples will not register any problems in these cases.
The researchers found that samples of blood from people with colon cancer had substantial differences to those without, they are still unsure of the precise molecular basis for these variations, which will be a subject of their future work.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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