GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 14 PanaceaPharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that CC Detect(SM), the Company's serum-based colon cancer diagnostic test, is now available from PanaceaLaboratories. CC Detect(SM) is a simple blood test that should facilitate theidentification of individuals with cancer of the colon and rectum when used inconjunction with standard screening methods. Panacea Laboratories, a divisionof Panacea Pharmaceuticals, is certified under the Clinical LaboratoryImprovement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). The blood sample can be ordered by anyphysician and sent to Panacea for testing; sample and shipping requirementsare available at http://www.panacea-labs.com.
Colorectal cancer -- cancer of the colon or rectum -- is the third mostcommon type of cancer diagnosed in the US. 153,760 new colorectal cancer casesand 52,180 deaths due to colorectal cancer are expected in 2007. In an effortto detect colorectal cancer in its earliest stages, The American CancerSociety (ACS) and similar organizations have published guidelines forcolorectal screening. It is recommended that most people begin colorectalscreening at age 50 and that this screening be repeated at specific timeintervals. Approximately, 5-10% of all colorectal cancers occur in people whoare at "high risk," defined as much greater than twice the average risk. Anadditional 15-20% of colorectal cancers occur in people at "increased risk,"defined as approximately twice average risk. It is recommended that people athigh and increased risk for colorectal cancer begin screening at a younger ageand have screening repeated more frequently. Factors associated with anincreased or high risk of colorectal cancer can be divided into twocategories: personal, and hereditary or familial. Personal risk factorsinclude: a history of colorectal cancer that has been completely removed and,to a lesser extent, a history of ovarian, uterine or breast cancer; a historyof polyps, especially large adenomatous polyps; a history of inflammatorybowel disease, particularly ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; a highfat, low-fiber diet; a sedentary life-style; obesity; cigarette smoking, bothcurrently and in the past; heavy alcohol use; and diabetes. Other possiblepersonal risk factors for colorectal cancer include a history of working thenight-shift several nights a week for at least 15 years and previous radiationtreatment for prostate cancer. Familial and hereditary risk factors include:having a close relative who had colorectal cancer before age 60; familyhistory of polyposis syndromes and hereditary non-polyposis syndromes;African-American background; and Ashkenazi Jewish background. Frequent testingwith colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, double contrast barium enemas and fecaloccult blood tests are performed in these high-and increased risk populations.The age at which this intensive screening should begin depends on the actualrisk factors. For example, it should begin at puberty for those with a historyof familial adenomatous polyposis, at 12 -15 years after the onset of left-sided inflammatory bowel disease and, if an immediate relative has hadcolorectal cancer, at 10 years before the age that the relative was diagnosed.
Failure to diagnose colorectal cancer before it has spread can havedisastrous consequences. The 5 year relative survival rates are 89.8% forlocalized disease, 67.7% for regional disease, and 10.3% for metastaticdisease. Even persons who know that they are at high risk and increased riskfor colorectal cancer, however, are often non-compliant or poorly compliantwith screening recommendations because they perceive the tests to beembarrassing, unpleasant and time-consuming. In addition, many people who areat higher-than-average risk do not know that they are particularly at risk nordo their physicians always inform them of their risk. Furthermore, each testhas its drawbacks in terms of sensitivity and specificity,