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Int J Biol Markers. 2012 Oct 8;27(3):e195-202. doi: 10.5301/JBM.2012.9343.

Overall evaluation of an immunological latex agglutination system for fecal occult blood testing in the colorectal cancer screening program of Florence.

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Cancer Prevention and Research Institute (ISPO), Florence, Italy.


Several immunological fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) are currently available for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. We compared the HM Jack (Jack) (Kiowa, Japan), with the OC-Hemodia (OC) (Eiken, Japan) in use in the Florence screening program. Aims of the study were: (i) to investigate the diagnostic performance and the best cutoff value for Jack; (ii) to evaluate the handiness of sampling tubes; (iii) to compare costs. A total of 5,044 subjects were screened with both tests. Sampling tube investigation was performed running each sample on both instruments. A number of 352 subjects positive for at least one test (175 OC, 310 Jack) were selected for further investigations, while 46 subjects refused further assessments. Analysis of costs related to the assessment phase was performed on the basis of Tuscany region's fares. Amongst the 306 subjects investigated, 9 CRC and 67 advanced adenomas (AdA) were detected. Detection rates (DR) were 1.4‰ for CRC and 9.6‰ for AdA. After Jack cutoff optimization, DR for CRC+AdA resulted in 11.1‰ for OC and 13.3‰ for Jack (p=0.041). Sensitivity of the methods was 73.7 for OC and 88.2 for Jack; specificity was 97.6 for OC and 96.0 for Jack, resulting in an increase of the required assessments from 3.5% to 5.1%. No differences were observed between sampling methods. Despite the lower specificity of Jack, its greater sensitivity makes the method attractive for screening programs. An increase of the costs of 30% for every subject investigated for pathological lesion (CRC+AdA) may be thus foreseen.

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