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Mol Diagn Ther. 2009;13(1):11-4. doi: 10.2165/01250444-200913010-00002.

Previstage GCC colorectal cancer staging test: a new molecular test to identify lymph node metastases and provide more accurate information about the stage of patients with colorectal cancer.

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entreMeDica, Inc., Encinitas, California 92024, USA.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and a leading cause of death for both men and women in North America. The staging of the CRC at the time of diagnosis is the single most important prognostic factor in determining recurrence and survival. Until 2008, accurate evaluation of CRC stages I and II was based on examination of regional lymph nodes (LNs) under a microscope to identify cancer cells. This method can detect one cancer cell in 200 normal cells, but analyzes only a fraction of the available tissue from the LN (less than 0.1%). Up to 30% of patients assessed by traditional histopathology methods as having stage II disease (negative LNs) experience a recurrence of their cancer. Previstage GCC Colorectal Cancer Staging Test, a new molecular diagnostic test, is able to identify patients at high risk of recurrence by examining their LNs for guanylyl cyclase C (GCC). GCC is a marker found in cells lining the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. The expression of GCC is conserved in CRC and metastatic disease. Using an ultrasensitive quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, the test interrogates a patient's LN tissues to identify GCC levels consistent with metastatic (stage III) disease. The technology employed in Previstage GCC is nearly 100,000 times more sensitive than microscopic staging methods. This molecular diagnostic test allows a more thorough examination of LNs and has an analytic sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 98%. Such a test can be used to overcome the limitations of staging by traditional histopathology alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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