By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While it’s possible to effectively treat colorectal cancer if caught in its early stages, a barrier for some has been testing, that can be unpleasant.
Now, a Bensalem-based company has a new diagnostic test that could lead to a lot more screenings.
Atlantic Diagnostic Laboratories calls it PolypDx, which could save lives and reduce treatment costs.
“We’re providing urine-based testing for the first time, which is far less invasive.”
Dr. Carl Selavka, a chemist at ADL, says it detects pre-cancerous polyps in the colon by identifying specific molecules in the urine that indicate that the polyps have formed.
“This particular type of testing involves the application of new science to better diagnose people before they would go in for a colonoscopy, to find out if they have polyps.”
ADL, a medical lab company, is partnered with the Canadian-based Metabolomic Technologies Inc., which did a clinical trial of 1,000 patients.
MTI’s Dr. David Chang says it’s simple and effective.
“The compliance for people to be willing to take the test – it’s a simple urine collection, you pee into a cup – is much higher than a blood or stool-based test, or going directly to a colonoscopy.”
Colorectal cancer is highly treatable when caught early. But the disease is a leading cause of cancer death, because it is often not diagnosed until the later stages, when it is harder to treat.
Its makers recommend PolypDx as a screening tool for those between 50 and 74, on an annual basis.