“Liquid biopsy” blood test to save lives


A new type of blood test for colorectal cancer has been co-developed with CSIRO and Flinders Medical Centre

International biotech company Clinical Genomics and Australian partners have developed the test that is being used to identify early cancer relapse following colorectal cancer surgery.

A study recently published in the journal Cancer Medicine showed the blood test, known as Colvera, was found to detect twice the number of recurrence cases as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) testing – the blood test currently recommended for colorectal cancer recurrence monitoring.

Colvera is now a finalist in this year’s Australian Museum Eureka Prize, within the Johnson & Johnson Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research category.

“Colorectal cancer outcomes improve with early detection but currently available monitoring tests frequently fail to detect disease at a point when clinical intervention can be effective,” says Dr Lawrence LaPointe, president and CEO of Clinical Genomics.

“This failure is a key reason why mortality from colorectal cancer is so high,” he says.

“Developing a more sensitive test that detects colorectal cancer recurrence will eventually lead to increasing survival rates after surgery. That is why we do this work.”

The winners of the 2017 Australian Museum Eureka Prize will be announced on Wednesday 30 August.

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