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New blood test shows high accuracy in detecting colon cancer, study results: “Not interchangeable”

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A simple blood test could detect it Colon cancer (CRC) with an accuracy of more than 80%, according to a new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved nearly 8,000 people between the ages of 45 and 84, a press release said.

The results of the SHIELD blood test – which is performed by Guardant, a pharmaceutical company in Palo Alto, California – were compared to the results of a colonoscopy, with the latter considered the “gold standard for colorectal cancer screening,” the publication said.

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Among participants whose cases of colorectal cancer were confirmed by colonoscopy, just over 83% were positive on the blood test and 16.9% were negative.

The SHIELD test works by detecting signs of this Colon cancer from DNA secreted by tumors, called circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

Blood test samples

A simple blood test could detect colorectal cancer (CRC) with greater than 80% accuracy, according to a new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington. (iStock)

The researchers found that the test performed best at detecting colorectal cancer and was less effective at detecting precancerous lesions.

The SHIELD blood test is intended as a colorectal cancer screening for people who are at “average risk” and do not experience symptoms, noted study co-author Dr. William M. Grady, a gastroenterologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Washington.

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“The accuracy rate for colorectal cancer is similar to home stool tests used for early detection of colorectal cancer,” Grady told Fox News Digital.

He acknowledged that the study had some limitations.

“The study is completed [among] People at average risk, and that’s who the test is intended for,” he said.

Medication and laboratory tests

The new blood test is intended as a colon cancer screening for people at “average risk” – and who do not experience any symptoms. (iStock)

The test is not currently intended for use in high-risk individuals, such as those with a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of colorectal cancer, or those inflammatory bowel diseasehe clarified.

The condition of colon cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 53,010 people are expected to die in 2024.

People at average risk should begin regular screenings at age 45, the ACS recommends.

Newly approved cancer drug targets an aggressive form of the “deadly disease.”

“Colon cancer is largely preventable and there are currently available screening tests such as colonoscopy, FIT stool testing and the MT stool DNA test that can prevent it,” he said.

The problem, Grady says, is that about 40 to 50 percent of people who should get screened don’t.

Blood test for men

“Blood-based screening tests are more acceptable to people than colonoscopy and stool tests and are likely to increase compliance with screening.” (iStock)

It is hoped that a blood-based test would help increase screening rates.

Blood-based screening tests are more acceptable to people than colonoscopies and stool tests and will likely increase screening compliance,” Grady said. “This could lead to fewer CRC-related deaths.”

Some doctors have expressed concerns about the blood test’s effectiveness — particularly its lower sensitivity to precancerous symptoms.

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“Due to inadequate adenoma detection, these new blood-based tests will not be as effective as Cologuard.” [the stool sample test]“even if their adherence is perfect compared to Cologuard’s current adherence,” said Dr. Mark Fendrick of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in a statement to Fox News Digital.

Fendrick was not involved in the NEJM study.

Man donates blood

“It is exciting to have data on a new blood-based screening test for colorectal cancer. If approved, it will help identify people who need to undergo a colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis and ultimately help save lives.” (iStock)

The American Gastroenterological Association released a statement in response to the NEJM study.

“It is exciting to have data on a new blood-based screening test for colorectal cancer. If approved, it will help identify people who need to undergo a colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis and ultimately help save lives,” said Dr. Barbara H. Jung. President of the American Gastroenterological Association, in a statement to Fox News Digital.

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However, the association warned that blood tests do not reveal precancerous polyps – which can be detected by colonoscopies.

“The blood test reported in the New England Journal of Medicine study is only intended to detect cancers and not precancerous polyps,” Jung noted.

However, blood tests do not detect precancerous polyps, which can be detected by colonoscopies.

“Blood tests are not interchangeable with colonoscopy for colon cancer screening, but should prove to be an additional tool to detect colon cancer early.”

For patients who refuse all other recommended tests, blood tests could be recommended, Jung emphasized – “since any screening is better than no screening at all.”

Couple holding hands at appointment

One expert said blood tests could be recommended for patients who refuse all other recommended tests – “since any screening is better than no screening.” (iStock)

Anyone interested in the SHIELD blood test should consult their doctor Primary care providerGrady said.

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“This is significant considering that currently half of people choose not to do one or the other,” he added.

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