Novel assay detects majority of early cancer cases with good specificity and sensitivity

-- Beth Gilbert

Thursday, September 30, 2010 (Last Updated: 10/01/2010)

THURSDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A novel microRNA (miRNA) screening assay can detect most early-stage colorectal cancer cases with good sensitivity and specificity, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, held from Sept. 27 to 30 in Denver.

Søren J. Nielsen, Ph.D., of Exiqon in Vedbaek, Denmark, and colleagues developed a screening assay based on the miRCURY LNA Universal RT miRNA PCR. The investigators used the assay to profile blood plasma samples collected from patients with early, resectable colorectal cancer, as well as age-matched healthy control subjects.

The researchers found that the assay detected the majority of cancer cases with good specificity and sensitivity using less than 1 mL of blood. As a result, the researchers are initiating a large, prospective clinical trial in symptomatic patients undergoing colonoscopy to validate the screening assay.

"We envision that this type of miRNA profile, once developed and marketed as a screening kit, can be used to screen entire populations in order to facilitate a focused selection of individuals who should undergo colonoscopy," Nielsen said in a statement.

Several study authors are employed by Exiqon.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
OBGYN & Women's Health
Family Practice
Diabetes & Endocrinology

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