Multiple Marker Approach to Colorectal Cancer Detection

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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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