August 27, 2014 – Occult Blood


Anchor lead:  The FDA has just approved a new test for colorectal cancer screening, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Colorectal cancer screening has for years relied on physical examination of the large intestine most often using colonoscopy in the US but also using sigmoidoscopy worldwide.  Now the FDA has approved a new, noninvasive screening tool, Patrick Okolo, a colorectal cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, describes.

Okolo: This is a test that’s been recently approved by the FDA and relies on the detection of DNA and DNA mutations to identify the presence of advanced polyps and colorectal cancers.  And this is quite accurate in doing so.  If the test is positive there’s a lesion there, but it may not pick up all lesions.  And so the FDA has looked at it and done a very good job in saying this is a good adjunct but does not change the paradigm at the moment.  I think this is only the beginning in a shift in the way that we look at things.   :33

Okolo predicts a range of options becoming available soon that will screen for colorectal cancer based on a stool sample.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.