Researchers in Israel’s Maccabi health care group have developed a method for identifing people at risk of colon cancer by means of a routine blood test, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
The Colonscore system (also known as MeScore CRC) is based on mathematical modeling. Maccabi and research partner, the start-up Medial Research, say it could help identify hundreds of people with undiagnosed colon cancer every year.
The standard test for colon cancer today is the fecal occult blood test, but many people don’t do the test, and so the disease is often only discovered at an advanced stage.
The Colonscore system merely requires a regular blood count. The results are then subjected to mathematical analysis.
The new method was tested on the blood counts of 1,000 patients, and it successfully detected those with colon cancer. Colonscore’s accuracy is comparable to the fecal occult blood test. The system is currently up for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It has already been accepted by the European Union (the CE marking) and the Israeli Health Ministry.