A simple “revolutionary” test that detects colon cancer early

A simple “revolutionary” test that detects colon cancer early
A simple “revolutionary” test that detects colon cancer early

Researchers from the University of the Basque Country in Spain have unveiled a simple, non-invasive tool they designed to predict the presence of residual cancer cells.

A blood RNA test predicts whether residual cancer cells remain in early-stage colon cancer patients, avoiding unnecessary surgery.

The impressive result revealed by the study was widely celebrated in the scientific community, after it was recently published in the editorial of the prestigious “Gastroenterology” journal, one of the most important journals worldwide in the field.

Colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer-related death worldwide, the third most common cancer in men and the second most common in women, and early detection can lead to lower rates of infection and death.

Screening methods are particularly important in this type of cancer, where the onset of symptoms is associated with the advanced stages of the disease.

“There are pre-existing lesions, such as polyps, whose early detection and removal prevents the development of colon cancer and increases the likelihood of cure,” says Luis Boganda, professor of medicine at the University of the Basque Country in Spain and an author of the study.

When cancer is a beacon of hope, it achieves the impossible

Simple and revolutionary technology

The test is based on detecting the presence of small amounts of blood in the stool that are not visible, and if the result is positive, a colonoscopy (colonoscopy) is performed to detect the disease and even treat it by removing the cancer through colonoscopy.

“However, there are some inconclusive cases, of which we are not entirely sure, about whether endoscopy alone can eradicate the disease; in these cases, surgery is usually done to remove any cancer cells remaining in the colon wall or lymph nodes,” Boganda explains. .

He continues, “The new technology includes developing a non-invasive tool, a simple blood test, to avoid unnecessary surgery.”

High prediction accuracy

Researchers say the new technique helps avoid about 80 percent of unnecessary surgical procedures.

This technique can predict about 90 percent the risk of remaining tumor cells remaining in the patient’s body, and therefore, this technique gives doctors certainty to know whether the patient will undergo surgery or not.

The blood analysis technique has also shown very promising results in patients with rectal cancer who are treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy before surgery to see if there are cells left before surgery, thus avoiding operations that have a significant impact on patients’ quality of life.

“This is an important finding that was validated in a sample of 188 patients with endoscopically removed colon cancer,” Boganda says. “For now, the next step for other research groups will be to obtain the same results, validate the results, and incorporate them into hospitals.”

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simple revolutionary test detects colon cancer early

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