HealthDay News — A recently approved, stool-based colorectal cancer test (Cologuard) may be effective for certain patients, according to a small study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held from April 16 to 20 in New Orleans.

The new study included 347 people at average risk for colorectal cancer. They had also not yet undergone more invasive screening procedures, such as colonoscopy.

At 1 year of follow-up, 51 of the patients (14.7%) had a positive result on the Cologuard test and were referred for colonoscopy, said a team led by Mark Prince, MD, of USMD Physician Services, a health system based in Dallas. Of the 46 patients who received a follow-up colonoscopy, four were diagnosed with a colorectal cancer, 21 with advanced polyps, and nine with non-advanced polyps.

“Despite the availability of various colorectal cancer screening options, more than 40% of Americans are not getting screened,” Prince said in an AACR news release. “This study highlights the opportunity to expand the screening population by offering new, patient-friendly methods. Colonoscopy is the best form of colon cancer screening, but for patients who will not have a colonoscopy, a noninvasive screening test like Cologuard is needed.”

Prince is a speaker for Exact Sciences Corp., the Wisconsin-based maker of Cologuard.

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