Epigenomics AG released clinical data this week showing that a new approach to early colorectal cancer detection in blood can be used to detect most colon polyps.
- Colon polyps are benign proliferations that can give rise to cancer. The risk is considerably high if they are greater than 1 cm in size. Their timely removal is therefore a major contribution to saving patients’ lives.
The study was based on a total of 49 blood plasma samples from patients with colon polyps and 22 patients without polyps. Researchers studied two proprietary Epigenomics markers alone and in combination: Septin9, a marker which has already been presented by Epigenomics earlier this year and ALX4, a previously undisclosed marker identified by Epigenomics.
The combination of the two markers detected clinically relevant polyps with very high sensitivity. Detection rate for polyps larger than 1cm was 67% (12 out of 18 plasma samples from patients with polyps). Sensitivity for large dysplastic polyps (adenomas greater than 1 cm) was 100% and for adenomas with intraepithelial neoplasia, i.e. a substantial likelihood of developing invasive cancer was 80%. The specificity of the combination as tested in asymptomatic patients over 50 years of age was 91%.
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