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Colon cancer blog: Johns Hopkins to develop blood test for colon cancer risk assessment

Colon cancer blog Colon cancer main Treatment of colon cancer  

Sep 10, 2005

Johns Hopkins to develop blood test for colon cancer risk assessment

Johns Hopkins to develop blood test for colon cancer risk assessmentGood news for Johns Hopkins and for colon cancer patients! A team of scientists from Johns Hopkins and elsewhere has been selected to receive a $2.25 million, five-year grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to develop a practical test to predict a person's risk of colon cancer by looking for a particular biological marker in the blood.

If the research become successful, the test could be broadly applied to identify those who most need to be monitored with invasive but standard colonoscopy or who should make changes in their diet or in other factors to help lower their risk of developing colon cancer.

The researchers' test is based on the fact that five percent to 10 percent of people have improper control of a growth-promoting gene called insulin-like growth factor 2 or IGF-2. The Johns Hopkins scientists reported in February that, in mice, the double dose of IGF-2 protein sets the stage for cancer development -- by increasing the number of primitive cells found in the colon -- and that early evidence suggests the same could be true in people.

"If everything works out -- if IGF-2 status is tied to colon cancer risk in people and the blood test is workable -- then IGF-2 status could be the colon cancer equivalent of cholesterol levels as a risk factor for heart disease," says Andrew Feinberg, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins and one of the leaders of the project. "We've never had a broad molecular screening tool like that for any cancer."

Sue      Return to Colon Cancer Blog Main


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Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of the large intestine or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer diagnosed in the United States. Each year over 100,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States. Most, of these cancers develop from growths in the colon called polyps. Removal of these polyps can prevent colon cancer.

Colon cancer blog: Johns Hopkins to develop blood test for colon cancer risk assessment

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