Universal Diagnostics partner with NHS Trust to analyse screening test

Biomedicine company Universal Diagnostics (UDX) has announced a collaboration with Imperial College NHS Trust to analyse its colorectal screening blood test.

The Metabolic biomarkers for Early Colon cancer and advanced AdeNoma (MECANO) study aims to confirm the effectiveness of the Spanish firm’s colorectal screening blood test at detecting colorectal cancer at an early or pre-cancerous stage (adenoma).

The study will take place at seven hospitals across London, collecting 660 samples from patients who have returned positive results to faecal screening tests and are aged between 54 and 74. The samples will be tested by UDX to confirm the biomarker panel as well as potentially adding further key indicators. A positive outcome could suggest the probability of colorectal cancer.

Approximately 94 per cent of patients live five years or more when the disease is detected at stage one, however Dr.James Kinross, lead investigator of MECANO, thinks expensive, complex and inaccurate screening mean it is often missed. “Only about a quarter of cases are caught in the very early stages, mostly due to lack of cost-effective screening,” he explained. “There is a great need for a simple to use, non-invasive and accurate test that can be used to screen great numbers of people to detect cancers earlier.”