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Minimally-invasive blood test can identify cancer in its pre-cancerous form

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 15:44
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Results from the OMICS study, an international, multi-centre study, has revealed that Universal DX's blood test can detect colorectal advanced adenomas at 55% sensitivity and 90% specificity, which exceeds currently available non-invasive tests for colorectal cancer screening 80% of sporadic colorectal cancers arise from pre-malignant advanced adenomas, according to the company. The results were announced at the European Association of Cancer Research (EACR) 2021 virtual conference. 

Universal DX leverages proprietary, state-of-the-art computational biology tools combined with targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) assay platform for highly sensitive cancer signal scoring of cell-free DNA regions linked to cancer of interest. The company is developing "Signal-X", a platform to detect multiple types of cancer; its first product, "Signal-C", detects early-stage colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps.

This method could serve as the basis for a highly accurate and minimally-invasive blood-based screening test with significant implications for early detection and cancer prevention.

"We have demonstrated that we can identify cancer in its earliest stages with 90+% sensitivity, which is a critical first step to transforming cancer into a curable disease," said Christian Hense, managing director at Universal DX. "But where we really want to get to is to prevent colorectal cancer altogether. With the findings presented at EACR, we are on the path to a minimally-invasive blood test that can identify cancer in its pre-cancerous forms, enabling us to prevent what is currently the 3rd most common type of cancer in men and 2nd in women worldwide. This test will reduce incidence of colorectal cancer."

Prospective clinical trials are underway to validate the performance of this novel biomarker panel for advanced adenoma detection in representative screening cohorts.

"At Universal DX, we understand the growing need to have a non-invasive screening option for colorectal cancer: 30% of adults are not up to date on their colon cancer screening, while the rate of CRC has more than doubled among adults younger than 50. We don't just want to just detect cancer, we want to prevent it. These data reveal that future is within reach."