New blood test set to reduce number of bowel cancer deaths

New blood test set to reduce number of bowel cancer deaths: Aust’n scientists

CANBERRA, Dec. 21 (PNA/Xinhua) — A new blood test which is thought to be more accurate at finding bowel cancer could lead to a reduction in the number of deaths from the disease, Australian scientists have said on Wednesday.

Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) revealed the new blood test, called Colvera, in the United States overnight, which increases the likelihood of detecting a recurrence of bowel cancer in patients.

Bowel cancer kills more than 600,000 people each year, while more than 15,000 cases are diagnosed annually in Australia alone, but CSIRO Scientist Dr Trevor Lockett said the new blood test would reduce the number of recurrent cases of the disease – which occurs in 30 to 50 percent of all sufferers.

“By providing clinicians with a new blood test that is more sensitive for recurrence than testing for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), Colvera increases the likelihood of detecting curable recurrences of (bowel cancer), with the ultimate aim of saving lives,” Lockett said in a CSIRO statement on Wednesday.

He said the development of the blood test would not have been possible without the collaboration between the CSIRO, Flinders University in Adelaide and local biotechnology company Clinical Genomics.

“It’s a real success story of science partnering with industry to create impact, and has provided an excellent learning opportunity for researchers to see science being applied with a business and intense product focus.”

Meanwhile, Professor Graeme Young from Flinders University said the new blood test was much more effective at detecting recurrences of the cancer compared to the current standard – CEA testing and regularly scheduled CT scans.

“However, CEA (testing) has not proven to be as effective as we would like and is subject to false-positive results related to non-cancer events such as smoking,” Young said.

“Our study has shown that Colvera is significantly more sensitive for bowel cancer than CEA and as such provides us with an improved, simple test that increases the likelihood of detecting curable recurrence.”

The CSIRO said Colvera was available in the United States, while it is hoped the new test will be available in Australia as early as next year. (PNA/Xinhua)

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