Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences Corp. have scheduled a Monday audio conference with journalists to discuss a product called Cologuard "a stool DNA test for colorectal cancer screening."
The Food and Drug Administration approved Cologuard, according to Exact Sciences" as "the first noninvasive screening test for colorectal cancer that analyzes both stool DNA and blood biomarkers and has been proven to find 92 percent of cancers and 69 percent of the most advanced precancerous polyps in average risk patients."
According to MayoClinic.org, colorectal cancers are the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The problem is that screening for pre-cancerous polyps requires awkward colonoscopies that must first include emptying the intestines with fluids that cause multiple trips to the toilet.
Mayo gives no specifics about its Monday news conference. But it has previously noted online that an "ideal screening test would be noninvasive and affordable; require no bowel prep, medication restriction or diet change; and would detect neoplasms on both sides of the colorectum with high accuracy."
"A new multimarker test for stool DNA (sDNA) developed by Mayo Clinic in collaboration with Exact Sciences Corp. of Madison, Wis., meets those requirements. No special preparation or restrictions are needed, it can be performed on mailed-in samples, eliminating the need for an office visit, and it has proved highly accurate at detecting premalignant polyps and early-stage colorectal cancer," the clinic writes.
If Mayo and Exact Sciences can get the new test widely accepted as the standard of care, it will likely affect early diagnosis, cost and patient survival. It also will likely add money to Mayo's research efforts because intellectual property agreements will likely bring Mayo a portion of the income Exact Sciences receives from each test.