Blood test may replace colonoscopy

June 15, 2007 at 3:57 PM

BALTIMORE, June 15 (UPI) -- A simple blood test may eventually replace the dreaded and highly invasive colonoscopy for detecting colon cancer, say U.S. researchers.

A team at Johns Hopkins Medical Center say they have discovered proteins in blood that appear to be accurate predictors of the disease, as well as precancerous polyps.

The proteins are CCSA-3 and CCSA-4 and the researchers said they have the potential to be used in a blood test to pinpoint people at high risk for colon cancer.

"The reality is that many people are not getting regular screening colonoscopies," says researcher Robert Getzenberg. "So, ideally we'd like to identify those with some molecular (risk) for the disease ... "

The researcher said they used the protein markers to accurately distinguish 28 cases of colon cancer from 107 health colons, and also correctly identified 51 of 53 patients with normal colons and 14 of 18 people with advanced precancerous polyps.

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