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      Multitarget Stool DNA Testing for Colorectal-Cancer Screening

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          Abstract

          An accurate, noninvasive test could improve the effectiveness of colorectal-cancer screening. We compared a noninvasive, multitarget stool DNA test with a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) in persons at average risk for colorectal cancer. The DNA test includes quantitative molecular assays for KRAS mutations, aberrant NDRG4 and BMP3 methylation, and β-actin, plus a hemoglobin immunoassay. Results were generated with the use of a logistic-regression algorithm, with values of 183 or more considered to be positive. FIT values of more than 100 ng of hemoglobin per milliliter of buffer were considered to be positive. Tests were processed independently of colonoscopic findings. Of the 9989 participants who could be evaluated, 65 (0.7%) had colorectal cancer and 757 (7.6%) had advanced precancerous lesions (advanced adenomas or sessile serrated polyps measuring ≥1 cm in the greatest dimension) on colonoscopy. The sensitivity for detecting colorectal cancer was 92.3% with DNA testing and 73.8% with FIT (P=0.002). The sensitivity for detecting advanced precancerous lesions was 42.4% with DNA testing and 23.8% with FIT (P<0.001). The rate of detection of polyps with high-grade dysplasia was 69.2% with DNA testing and 46.2% with FIT (P=0.004); the rates of detection of serrated sessile polyps measuring 1 cm or more were 42.4% and 5.1%, respectively (P<0.001). Specificities with DNA testing and FIT were 86.6% and 94.9%, respectively, among participants with nonadvanced or negative findings (P<0.001) and 89.8% and 96.4%, respectively, among those with negative results on colonoscopy (P<0.001). The numbers of persons who would need to be screened to detect one cancer were 154 with colonoscopy, 166 with DNA testing, and 208 with FIT. In asymptomatic persons at average risk for colorectal cancer, multitarget stool DNA testing detected significantly more cancers than did FIT but had more false positive results. (Funded by Exact Sciences; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01397747.).

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          Most cited references 29

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          Cancer statistics, 2013.

          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. A total of 1,660,290 new cancer cases and 580,350 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States in 2013. During the most recent 5 years for which there are data (2005-2009), delay-adjusted cancer incidence rates declined slightly in men (by 0.6% per year) and were stable in women, while cancer death rates decreased by 1.8% per year in men and by 1.5% per year in women. Overall, cancer death rates have declined 20% from their peak in 1991 (215.1 per 100,000 population) to 2009 (173.1 per 100,000 population). Death rates continue to decline for all 4 major cancer sites (lung, colorectum, breast, and prostate). Over the past 10 years of data (2000-2009), the largest annual declines in death rates were for chronic myeloid leukemia (8.4%), cancers of the stomach (3.1%) and colorectum (3.0%), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (3.0%). The reduction in overall cancer death rates since 1990 in men and 1991 in women translates to the avoidance of approximately 1.18 million deaths from cancer, with 152,900 of these deaths averted in 2009 alone. Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population, with an emphasis on those groups in the lowest socioeconomic bracket and other underserved populations. Copyright © 2012 American Cancer Society, Inc.
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            Cancer genome landscapes.

            Over the past decade, comprehensive sequencing efforts have revealed the genomic landscapes of common forms of human cancer. For most cancer types, this landscape consists of a small number of "mountains" (genes altered in a high percentage of tumors) and a much larger number of "hills" (genes altered infrequently). To date, these studies have revealed ~140 genes that, when altered by intragenic mutations, can promote or "drive" tumorigenesis. A typical tumor contains two to eight of these "driver gene" mutations; the remaining mutations are passengers that confer no selective growth advantage. Driver genes can be classified into 12 signaling pathways that regulate three core cellular processes: cell fate, cell survival, and genome maintenance. A better understanding of these pathways is one of the most pressing needs in basic cancer research. Even now, however, our knowledge of cancer genomes is sufficient to guide the development of more effective approaches for reducing cancer morbidity and mortality.
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              A method of comparing the areas under receiver operating characteristic curves derived from the same cases.

              Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves are used to describe and compare the performance of diagnostic technology and diagnostic algorithms. This paper refines the statistical comparison of the areas under two ROC curves derived from the same set of patients by taking into account the correlation between the areas that is induced by the paired nature of the data. The correspondence between the area under an ROC curve and the Wilcoxon statistic is used and underlying Gaussian distributions (binormal) are assumed to provide a table that converts the observed correlations in paired ratings of images into a correlation between the two ROC areas. This between-area correlation can be used to reduce the standard error (uncertainty) about the observed difference in areas. This correction for pairing, analogous to that used in the paired t-test, can produce a considerable increase in the statistical sensitivity (power) of the comparison. For studies involving multiple readers, this method provides a measure of a component of the sampling variation that is otherwise difficult to obtain.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                April 03 2014
                April 03 2014
                : 370
                : 14
                : 1287-1297
                10.1056/NEJMoa1311194
                24645800
                © 2014
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