BIOSCIENCE & HEALTHCARE: Exact Sciences could provide non-invasive colon screening option

    The American Cancer Society predicts nearly 50,000 people will die from colon cancer in the U.S. in 2014. Nearly, 97,000 new cases of colon cancer will emerge and many will go undiagnosed because of lack of screening.

    Madison-based Exact Sciences is focused on the early detection of colorectal cancer. The company has developed Cologuard, a unique investigational, non-invasive, stool-based DNA screening test for colorectal cancer.

    “There are currently more than 80 million Americans at average risk for colorectal cancer who are eligible for sDNA screening,” said Kevin Conroy, president and CEO of Exact Sciences.

    According to Conroy, that number is expected to grow.

    “There are tens of millions of Americans over 50 years old who haven’t been screened or who are under-screened,” Conroy said. “If approved by the Food and Drug Administration , Cologuard would provide patients with another screening option, an option that requires absolutely no preparation, is painless, non-invasive and discreet.”

    Recently, A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously backed Cologuard for potential market approval.

    Cologuard detects altered DNA associated with colorectal cancer, Conroy said.

    “As pre-cancerous polyps develop, they shed cells with detectable DNA changes,” he added.

    Colon cancer, according to ACS, is one of the most preventable, but least prevented cancers in the U.S.

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