Bertech Pharma has marked a significant milestone with the announcement today that the company has begun its pivitol trials on its new blood test to detect colorectal cancer.
Bertech’s novel test utilizes a protein biomarker and will diagnose colorectal cancer with sensitivity greater than 80%, through a simple blood test. This product is based on a unique observation that the biomarker is expressed at higher levels in blood cells of CRC patients. Conversely, the biomarker was absent from or present in much lower levels in blood cells of controls and patients with other cancers.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in North America. It strikes approximately 165,000 people and causes nearly 60,000 deaths each year in the United States and Canada. With an overall 5-year survival rate of 65%, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, accounting for almost 9% of all cancer deaths.
Colorectal cancer develops slowly as premalignant polyps that occur on the bowel wall and eventually increase in size and become cancerous. Colorectal cancer is curable if caught early, however, only 39% of CRCs are diagnosed at an early treatable stage due to low screening/detection rates. This is mainly due to the characteristics of the current standard screening tests (i.e., fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and colonoscopy) which are very uncomfortable, time consuming, with lower accuracy in the case of FOBT and high costs in the case of colonoscopy.
According to Bern Philip, President and CEO, the commencement of this trial marks a step forward in developing a patient friendly diagnostic for early stage detection of colorectal cancer There is a significant need for a more patient-friendly, accurate and inexpensive diagnostic test for CRC capable of detecting the disease in its early stages.