March is the National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is the National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and women and has the second highest mortality rate worldwide. Several CRC cases are early identified thanks to the numerous screening programs in many countries but also many cases are found in patients presenting with symptoms in primary health care.

The laboratory tests for detection of hemoglobin in faeces (f-Hb FIT) are an important aid to guide referral to secondary care in symptomatic patients and to assess the urgency of colonoscopy. Those tests are available in many labs but mostly on small and less automated analyzers. The Sentinel FOB Gold® test, instead, is available also on widely used automated high throughput analyzers already installed in clinical chemical laboratories.

As clearly demonstrated in the accurate study performed in Norway at the Aalesund Hospital, this assay shows good analytical performance that enables effective and efficient use of quantitative FIT on a high-throughput analyzer in large routine clinical chemistry laboratories.

Moreover, from a clinical point of view, when using a cutoff of 10 μg/g, it has an estimated sensitivity of 96.2% in identifying the presence of CRC and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 98.6% for the exclusion of CRC and 88.8% of CRC and Advanced Adenoma.

Therefore, in patients presenting with lower abdominal symptoms this diagnostic solution seems to be optimal for referral to secondary care and, when negative, to provide a reliable prediction of the absence of CRC and Advanced Adenoma.