Source: Shutterstock/aslysun

Decreasing false positives

Improving diagnosis of colorectal cancer

Current faecal blood tests for colorectal cancer have a sixty percent false positive rate. New funding from Cancer Research UK is helping scientists at Cardiff University to find better, safer tests.

Inaccuracy of initial tests for colorectal cancer are putting patients at unnecessary risk, highlighting vital need for the development of precise and non-invasive testing. A grant of over £400,000 is helping researchers at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute to bring this closer to reality.

Dr Lee Parry, Cardiff University’s European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, said: “Fifty percent of colorectal cancer cases are preventable. Intestinal stem cells are the cells that originate colorectal cancer, and we are investigating how factors like diet, gut bacteria and environment impact on these cells. By understanding the behaviour of these cells, we can improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this type of cancer. We believe that we can use a biological agent called SL7207 to detect whether colorectal cancer cells are present. We can administer this agent and if this is persistently present in the faecal testing, this is indicative of pre-cancerous colonic polyps.”

Recommended article


Major success

Colorectal cancer deaths go down 7% - but it's too early to celebrate yet

The decline in cancer of the intestines – colorectal cancer – is one of the major success stories of the past 30 years in Europe say researchers, as they predict that in 2018 death rates from the disease will continue to fall by around seven per cent compared to 2012. In a study published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers predict that death rates in the European…

Being tested for cancer can be a stressful and worrying time, and it is important that these processes are made as efficient and accurate as possible

Lee Parry

Cancer Research UK are providing the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute a grant of £498,000, to fund this research.

The Institute at Cardiff University focuses on investigating cancer stem cells - cells in the tumour that initiate the development of cancer and the spread of cancer through the body - aiming to apply their research to transform the way we prevent, diagnose and treat cancers. The study is in collaboration with Professor Paul Dyson, Swansea University, and Dr Sunil Dolwani from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. “If we can prove that we are correct, this will drive the development of a simple to use, safe and cost-effective test for colorectal cancer that can be used in the clinic," added Dr Parry. “This will also help to reduce burden on hospitals through unnecessary testing, waiting times and risk to healthy patients. Being tested for cancer can be a stressful and worrying time, and it is important that these processes are made as efficient and accurate as possible. This funding is enabling us to potentially provide effective testing kits for colorectal cancer in the future, which will have a dramatic impact on the testing and diagnosis of this disease."

Source: Cardiff University


Read all latest stories

Related articles


Gentle intervention

Endoscopy jumps the boundaries

‘Health insurers should keep a tighter rein on the quality of endoscopic interventions because, mostly, they represent a gentler alternative to surgery,’ asserts international expert Horst…


Putting early detection to the test

The number of cancer patients in Germany continues to rise steadily. An increase in the number of newly diagnosed cases of 14% is expected by 2020 compared to 2008. Therefore early detection is…


Early detection & prevention

Blood-based micro-RNAs indicate colorectal cancer risk

The risk of colorectal cancer can be predicted more accurately by determining seven blood-based micro-RNAs (miRNAs) than by using traditional methods - and can be done so many years before a…

Related products

Creative Biosciences - Colosafe

Creative Biosciences - Colosafe

Creative Biosciences (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd.
Greiner – VACUETTE FC Mix tube

Blood Glucose

Greiner – VACUETTE FC Mix tube

Greiner Bio-One
Image Information Systems – iQ-4VIEW

Mobile RIS/PACS Viewer

Image Information Systems – iQ-4VIEW

IMAGE Information Systems Europe GmbH
Lifotronic - FA-160 Immunofluorescence Analyzer


Lifotronic - FA-160 Immunofluorescence Analyzer

Lifotronic Technology Co., Ltd
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Subscribe to Newsletter