On December 20, 2016 Clinical Genomics announced the launch of an evidence-based diagnostic tool, Colvera™, to test for colorectal cancer recurrence. Colvera™ is a blood-based test that identifies whether or not two altered genes associated with colorectal cancer – methylated BCAT1 and IKZF1 DNA – are present or absent.
Colvera™ looks for the altered genes within circulating tumor DNA (pieces of genetic material that shed from a tumor into the blood stream). Colvera™ is used to detect the presence of cancer, it is not intended to screen for polyps.
About the Evidence
In a recent study of 397 colorectal cancer survivors, Colvera™ was shown to be more sensitive to recurrence as compared to the standard blood-based method of testing, carcinoembryonicantigen (CEA) testing.
What this Means for Survivors
The risk of recurrence is highest in the first five years after treatment ends, therefore it is important to adhere to follow up care and surveillance recommendations for early detection of cancer that has returned after treatment has ended.
30-50% of colorectal cancer survivors will experience a recurrence – the return of cancer after treatment and after no evidence of disease (NED).
Current recommendations for surveillance after curative treatment for colorectal cancer include CEA testing every 3-6 months in the first two years, and every 6 months in years three, four and five, in addition to other surveillance measures like colonoscopy and imaging. Review the post-treatment recommendations for all survivors.
While future studies on testing methylated BCAT1 and IKZF1 DNA will aim to explore impact on survival in addition to determining the correlation of false-positives with recurrence, the recent study shows that the performance of Colvera™ is truly exciting due to its increased sensitivity.
What can you do?
Talk to your doctor about this new test and determine if it’s a good option for you.
The manufacturer can work individually with patients for financial and billing questions. For more information, visit the Colvera website to learn about who to contact for payment options and payment assistance plans.
Following post-treatment surveillance is one important aspect of post-treatment care for survivors. Read more about living with colorectal cancer.
Disclosure: Fight Colorectal Cancer has received funding from Clinical Genomics, the producers of Colvera™, in the form of unrestricted educational grants. We maintain ultimate authority over website content and the content written in this article.
The graphic used in this blog was created by Clinical Genomics.