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News

DNA Direct offers new assay to screen for colon cancer

DNA Direct : 02 October, 2008  (New Product)
DNA Direct is to offer ColoSure, a safe, simple, and convenient test to screen for colon cancer - the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the USA.
'This is an example of how genetic testing can impact healthcare decisions today, and we're excited to be offering a screening option that allows for early and potentially life-saving detection of colon cancer,' said Ryan Phelan, founder and of DNA Direct. 'The ColoSure Assay allows those who might be anxious or fearful about invasive screening methods like colonoscopy to take steps to detect colorectal cancer in its earliest, most curable stages.'

At least 60 percent of Americans age 50 and older have never been screened for colorectal cancer, even though the American Cancer Society recommends a lifelong screening programme for those aged 50 or older, including a colonoscopy every ten years. Each year, nearly 150,000 new cases are diagnosed, and up to 50,000 people die of colorectal cancer. If caught early, the survival rate is close to 95 percent - but 50 percent of patients with colorectal cancer are diagnosed with advanced disease, which is less likely to be surgically curable.

ColoSure is the first clinical test available that looks for a DNA change in the vimentin gene, shown to be important to immunity and other important cell processes in the body. If the vimentin gene is hyper-methylated, or 'turned off', this could indicate colon cancer. A study published in the September 2008 issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology shows that detecting methylated vimentin DNA in feces provided both high sensitivity (77 percent) and high specificity (83 percent) for detecting early-stage, curable colon cancers.

'The data support the use of the ColoSure Assay as a non-invasive screening option,' said Trish Brown, MS, CGC, vice president of clinical affairs of DNA Direct. 'This Assay is among the most sensitive, non-invasive colorectal cancer screening tools available to supplement screening between recommended colonoscopy intervals.'

DNA Direct's personalized, web-enabled report for recipients of the ColoSure test includes an overview of test results, a lab report and letter to bring to their physician, and recommended next steps. Reports also reinforce awareness of the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, and include an option to schedule a reminder for the patient's next screening. Finally, the report includes a section on how ColoSure works, ways to change contributing lifestyle factors, a list of resources for patients and important facts about colorectal cancer.

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