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Cancer. 2006 Nov 1;107(9):2152-9.

Comparison of a brush-sampling fecal immunochemical test for hemoglobin with a sensitive guaiac-based fecal occult blood test in detection of colorectal neoplasia.

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Bowel Health Service, Repatriation General Hospital Daw Park, South Australia, Australia.



Fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) are an advanced fecal occult blood test (FOBT) technology that reduces barriers to population screening by simplifying the logistics of stool-sampling. The current study was conducted to undertake a paired comparison of a sensitive guaiac FOBT (GFOBT; Hemoccult II Sensa, Beckman Coulter, Fullerton, CA) with a brush-sampling FIT (InSure; Enterix, North Ryde, NSW, Australia), to determine whether this FIT improves detection of significant neoplasia.


Individuals sampled consecutive stools, at home, with both FIT and GFOBT sampling devices while following dietary restrictions appropriate for GFOBT. Study populations included a screening cohort (n = 2351) and a symptomatic diagnostic group (n = 161). Paired comparison of positivity rates was undertaken in those found to have cancer and/or significant adenoma (high-grade dysplasia, villous change, > or =10 mm, serrated histology or > or =3 polyps), benign pathology, or no pathology.


Combined results for both cohorts showed that the FIT returned a true-positive result significantly more often in cancer (n = 24; 87.5% vs. 54.2%) and in significant adenomas (n = 61; 42.6% vs. 23.0%). Of all UICC Stage I cancers, the FIT was positive in 12 of 13 compared with 4 of 13 with the GFOBT (P = .002). In analyses of just the screening cohort, the FIT remained significantly better at detecting cancers and significant adenomas; the false-positive rate for any neoplasia was marginally higher with the FIT than the GFOBT (3.4% vs. 2.5%; 95% CI of difference, 0-1.8%), whereas positive predictive values were 41.9% and 40.4%, respectively.


This brush-sampling FIT is more sensitive for cancers and significant adenomas than a sensitive GFOBT. As such, it should deliver greater reductions in colorectal cancer mortality and incidence than the GFOBT.

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