Simple Blood Test to Detect Colorectal Cancer
Roxanne Nelson, RN, BSN
In the future, a simple blood test could be added to the options for colorectal screening and could appeal to the people currently put off by the unpleasant necessities such as collecting a fecal sample, or the bowel prep before an invasive colonoscopy.
The new test, known as LUNAR-2 (Guardant Health), is an assay that measures circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), and is carried out on a simple blood draw.
It is able to detect early-stage colorectal cancer (CRC) with high accuracy, say researchers who reported new results at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
The results come from a study of 434 patients who were newly diagnosed with CRC. The blood test had an overall sensitivity for CRC of 91%, observed across all stages, and a specificity of 94%.
These data are consistent with what has previously been reported for this blood test, commented study author Hee Cheol Kim, MD, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
“What is most noteworthy is that there were no differences in sensitivity for CRC detection in patients presenting with asymptomatic disease compared to with those patients who were symptomatic, despite the lower cell-free DNA tumor fractions observed in asymptomatic individuals.
Current adherence to CRC screening is lower than recommended, and simpler methods are needed, Kim pointed out. “LUNAR-2 is emerging as a viable alternative for general screening of an average risk population,” he told Medscape Medical News.
NOTA DELL’EDITORE : LIKELIHOOD RATIO POS. 15 ; LIKELIHOOD RATIO NEG. 0.09