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New Cancer Screening Device Could Save Lives

Despite being one of the world’s most preventable cancers, colorectal cancer is the third deadliest for men and second for women.

Dr. Anuraag Shrivastav, Professor in the Department of Biology at The University of Winnipeg, is hoping to reduce the mortality rate by creating a new screening test to detect colorectal cancer earlier. Shrivastav has been conducting cancer research for more than 15 years now, including creating a test to improve the treatment odds of patients diagnosed with breast cancer. 

“The underlying biology of cancer is an important aspect to design tests and therapies,” he explained. “Colorectal cancer is highly preventable if it’s diagnosed at an early stage, and it’s one of the few cancers with screening tests.”

However, the problem, he says, is that the current screening test in Canada is “quite unpleasant,” because it’s a fecal test. The scientific name is the guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT).

In hopes of creating a more effective and patient-friendly test, Shrivastav and his team have developed a novel blood test that detects precancerous lesions and colorectal cancer. In a small proof-of-concept study, the test was highly sensitive in detecting precancerous lesions, outperforming other non-invasive colorectal cancer screening tests currently in the market.

-University of Winnipeg News

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