Barcelona, January 24 (EFE).- A team of researchers from the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona has confirmed the usefulness of a blood test to detect colon cancer, with a performance comparable to current detection options, a new way of easier detection that could increase screening.
The study, which has been published in the journal Annals of Oncology, has analyzed 623 blood samples, 318 from people who underwent a colonoscopy between 2017 and 2018 at the Hospital del Mar after the fecal occult blood test – the traditional test used in the colon cancer screening program- positive.
The blood test looks for DNA from the tumor in the colon, analyzing both tumor DNA mutations and DNA modifications linked to tumors.
The work reveals that its efficiency is similar to the test used in Catalonia in colon cancer screening, the fecal occult blood test for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
The two tests have high sensitivities, they detect more than 80% of cases, something that the authors of the work trust will increase the participation of the population in the colon cancer screening program.
“One of the basic pillars of any population screening program is to achieve maximum participation,” said the head of the Digestive System Service at Hospital del Mar, Xavier Bessa.
At this time, the population screening program for colon cancer in Catalonia has not exceeded 50% participation of the population called to participate in it.
It is the first time that the liquid biopsy technique has been used in this context. “We want to go further, we want to go look for cancer before it shows its face,” added the author of the study and associate doctor at Hospital del Mar, Joana Vidal. EFE