Colorectal cancer is a common disease, and more reliable screening methods are needed for early detection.
The team developed a non-invasive, stool-based assay that can identify colorectal cancer. This is achieved by detection of minichromosome maintenance protein 2 (MCM2) expression in colonocytes retrieved from the fecal surface.
The findings of the study were reported in the latest issue of the Lancet.
|Those with MCM2-positive cells:|
Colorectal cancer patients: 93%
The authors devised a cell line model to investigate methods and conditions for optimum colonocyte retrieval.
In the clinical evaluation study, MCM2-positive cells were retrieved from 37 of 40 patients with symptomatic colorectal cancer.
However, they were detected in none of 25 healthy control individuals.
Author R. Justin Davies, of the MRC Research Centre, Cambridge, concluded on behalf of his colleagues, "These results suggest that immunocytochemical analysis of retrieved colonocytes might enable accurate detection of colorectal cancer in stool."