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New blood test for colon cancer screening: Questions remain

July 18, 2016

About the Author

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Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Celia is an assistant editor at Harvard Health Publishing. Celia received her B.A. from Wake Forest University where she studied Biology and Classical Studies, and she recently earned her Masters in Science in Science Journalism from … See Full Bio
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Roger P
August 4, 2016

EpiPro Colon and the Cologuard test are not evidenced based medicine – the Second Generation FIT test and Colonoscopy are. EpiPro Colon approaches or exceed a Colonoscopy in terms of cost, and Cologuard may or may not be covered by insurance providers. Colonoscopy is always covered, and Second Generation FIT (Pinnacle BioLabs) is $25 and OTC cleared. Most thought leaders think the Cologuard test is frivolous (in terms of government dollars) and EpiPro Colon is downright obnoxious – combine that with it not being as sensitive and specific as a FIT test? It’s a rather silly “argument”.


Roger P
July 30, 2016

While the author did not name Epi Pro Colon by name, she refers to it, even in the title of the article. And her information is accurate. Colonoscopy is the gold standard, and should be performed every 10 years. FIT is second to none. It has been widely available and widely studied and has been proven to find cancer and find it early.
FIT in the hands of a doctor will screen 1000 times the patients Epi Pro Colon or Cologuard will. And FIT is also available without an Rx or without a doctor visit. You can learn more and buy one (for just $25)

David Bull
July 19, 2016

There are two additions to this article. First – The blood test, Epi proColon, is a methylated Septin 9 DNA blood which was, in fact, studied and found to have non-inferior sensitivity to FIT (Johnson PLOS ONE 2014). The intended patient population for Epi proColon are those who are unwilling and unable to perform the typical CRC Screening Test – as mentioned in the article.

Second – the USPSTF Recommendation Statement (June 2016) was recently released which includes 3 additional recommended Screening Tests (not mentioned in the article) – FIT DNA, CT Colonography, as well as, SEPT9 DNA.

Jay Stephens
July 19, 2016

What is the test’s name? What is it measuring?

David Bull
July 19, 2016

The name of the test is Epi proColon. It measures methylated Septin 9 DNA.

Robert Miller
July 18, 2016

INSANE!!! No mention of Cologuard which rivals a colonoscopy and is far better than a fecal blood test. In fact a Cologuard test INCLUDES a fecal blood test and FEATURES a DNA test that finds pre- cancerous conditions. A blood test does have “limitations” like it only can find Colon cancer after it is in your blood or Stage I long after you may have cancerous polyps that could be removed.

Cologuard can find Colon cancers that a colonoscopy misses.

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