(HealthDay News) — A multi-target stool DNA-based test (sDNA-MT) consisting of exfoliated DNA markers and fecal hemoglobin has high sensitivity for detecting colorectal cancer, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held from Oct. 16 to 19 in Anaheim, Calif.

Graham P. Lidgard, Ph.D., from Exact Sciences Corporation in Madison, Wis., and colleagues used an optimized automated analytic platform and logistic algorithm to assess the performance of sDNA-MT for colorectal cancer screening. Stool samples were analyzed for 1,003 patients from 36 study sites, including 796 control patients with negative colonoscopies or small polyps and 207 patients with confirmed colorectal cancer or dysplasia.

At a nominal specificity of 90 percent, the researchers found that the sDNA-MT sensitivity was 98 percent for detecting colorectal cancer; 57 percent for precursors of ≥1 cm (advanced adenoma or sessile serrate adenoma); and 86 percent for high-grade dysplasia precursors.

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“By analyzing samples with confirmed diagnoses from colonoscopy, we were able to build an analytic algorithm that combines our 11 stool-based biomarkers into a single result,” Lidgard said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the results of this study for detecting cancer and cancer precursors, especially the precursor lesions with high-grade dysplasia, an abnormality broadly recognized as being associated with a higher risk for progression to cancer itself.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Exact Sciences Corporation, which developed the test and sponsored the study.

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