The new test, developed by EXACT Laboratories, of Maynard, Massachusetts, USA, has 91 per cent sensitivity, according to preliminary tests reported in Gastroenterology.
The double-blind trials at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA, were conducted on 61 patients, of whom 22 had previously been diagnosed as having colo-rectal cancer. Another 11 had large pre-cancerous polyps.
The tests detected all but two of the cases of cancer - 91 per cent - and all but three polyps, a rate of 78 per cent. There were no false results for any of the remaining 28 healthy volunteers. The test detects DNA in fecal specimens.
Researchers are now planning a three-year trial of the new screening technique with the aid of 4.9 million dollar grant from the US National Cancer Institute.
Researcher Dr David Ahlquist, of the Mayo Clinic, said: "Because of the high rate of accuracy, the DNA colorectal cancer test could require fewer, unnecessary colonoscopies to be performed.
"Most important, the new DNA colorectal cancer test has the potential to significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality of colorectal cancer."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com