WVU researchers evaluating new CRC blood test: 6 insights

Morgantown-based West Virginia University Cancer Institute researchers are assessing a novel blood test for detecting colorectal cancer.

Six things to know:

1. The recently FDA-approved blood test screens for an abnormal gene called SEPT9 that is associated with CRC. 

2. During the study, 300 women across West Virginia will volunteer to have their blood drawn and tested for the gene. If the test detects SEPT9, providers will recommend that the patient undergo colonoscopy.

3. The researchers will compare the blood test results to the colonoscopy results to determine the test’s accuracy and sensitivity.

4. Rural patients often face barriers to CRC screening: "If there's not a gastroenterologist in your 10-county area in southern West Virginia and you've chosen colonoscopy as your preferred method of screening, you're unlikely to get it done," said WVU Cancer Institute Director Richard Goldberg, MD. "If you don't even have access to a primary care doctor and your main care is through an emergency room, you're not going to have a stool-based test done."

5. Patients won't have to travel to participate in the study. For a decade, WVU has used Bonnie's Bus, a mobile mammography unit, to deliver breast cancer screenings to rural West Virginia residents. WVU will now offer the CRC blood test study to women coming to Bonnie's Bus for breast cancer screening.

6. The study findings may help include the test in the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's recommendations for CRC screening.

More articles on gastroenterology:
Doing more — Gastroenterologists should go beyond their office to promote CRC screening
GI leader to know: Dr. Kenneth Vega of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Medicine
12 GIs to know in February 2019


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