/An Early Mark Blog/

March 2019

For colorectal cancer, the only good screening test is one that is taken

By |2019-03-11T13:22:51-07:00March 11th, 2019|

For colorectal cancer, the only good screening test is one that is taken Tests for detecting hidden (“occult”) blood in stool is widely available Screenshot from USPSTF CRC screening video We have discussed before the challenge of raising colorectal cancer screening rates, and the fact that there are many options in addition to [...]

February 2019

Calculating the odds of undetected colorectal cancer

By |2019-02-22T09:37:13-07:00February 22nd, 2019|

Calculating the odds of undetected colorectal cancer In a group of 200 adults aged 50 to 75, what are the chances of finding someone with undetected CRC? Many take chances with their health, in particular CRC screening The unscreened population for colorectal cancer is large. According to Exact Sciences (the manufacturer of the [...]

DNA Methylation Biomarkers for Cancer – a Measurement Challenge

By |2019-02-20T08:07:54-07:00February 20th, 2019|

DNA Methylation Biomarkers for Cancer – a Measurement Challenge Although studied for decades, the study of methylated cytosine DNA residues is not a trivial task for clinical in vitro diagnostics The challenge of methylation analysis in clinical diagnostics In the world of diagnostics, the measurement of biological analytes for clinical use trace its [...]

Theranos, the FDA, and the Laboratory-Developed Test (LDT) loophole

By |2019-02-13T16:57:06-07:00February 13th, 2019|

Cover of Forbes 400 Sept 2015 issue: "The Freshman: Elizabeth Holmes leads the class of 2014" Theranos, the FDA, and the Laboratory-Developed Test (LDT) loophole How could Theranos get away with fraud for such a long time? The American television news broadcaster ABC has produced an excellent six-part audio podcast called “The Dropout” [...]

Raising colorectal cancer screening rates is a tough task

By |2019-02-11T18:29:32-07:00February 11th, 2019|

Raising colorectal cancer screening rates is a tough task An accurate blood-based test to detect colorectal cancer is the key to lowering the mortality from this devastating disease Screenshot from USPSTF CRC screening video     In 2018 there were an estimated 140,250 new cases of colorectal cancer (CRC), and 50,630 estimated deaths, [...]

Why is stool such a difficult non-invasive starting material for early colorectal cancer detection?

By |2019-02-06T10:10:38-07:00February 6th, 2019|

Why is stool such a difficult non-invasive starting material for early colorectal cancer detection? Fecal Immunohistochemistry Tests (FIT) and guiac-based Fecal Occult Blood tests (gFOBT) are inexpensive and widely available tests for colorectal cancer screening. However there remains a clear need for an accurate blood-based colorectal screening test. A stool collection vial for colorectal [...]

The difference between plasma and serum for cell-free DNA liquid biopsies

By |2019-02-04T15:48:12-07:00February 4th, 2019|

Blood collection tubes prior to centrifuging The difference between plasma and serum for cell-free DNA liquid biopsies Important pre-analytical sampling considerations for DNA and protein biomarker work Using plasma or serum for analysis of novel biomarkers for the early detection of cancer is an effort that spans decades. Thanks to its minimally-invasive nature, [...]

January 2019

The power of methylation haplotypes

By |2019-01-31T14:24:19-07:00January 31st, 2019|

The power of methylation haplotypes How NGS technology informed biology and now transforming cancer diagnostics with an epigenomics Cambrian Explosion Finding a cell-free cancer signal is like finding a needle in a haystack... Of the 28 million CpG residues in the human genome, 60% to 80% of them are methylated at the 5’ [...]

Five Phases of Biomarker Development for Early Detection of Cancer

By |2019-01-28T06:37:54-07:00January 28th, 2019|

Five Phases of Biomarker Development for Early Detection of Cancer Where are the retrospective studies? Collecting samples About two decades ago was an exciting time in biology, and optimism reached a peak with the first draft of the Human Genome Project announced in 2000 (“A revolution in preventing, diagnosing, treating, and curing disease” [...]

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