ColoVantage is a new test available from Quest. Although it is a screening test, Quest says that it is not meant to be a substitute for colonoscopy. It was approved by NY State in March of 2011. It detects circulating methylated DNA from the SEPT9 gene, which is involved in cell frowth and cell cycle control. A case-control study performed at Quest Diagnostics showed that the ColoVantage test is 70% sensitive for colorectal cacner detection at a specificity of 89%. ColoVantage has successfully detected cancer at all stages; however, the number of patients at each stage of cancer was too small to derive stage-specific sensitivity data. A similar test demonstrated a sensitivity of 67% and a specificity of 88% in a prospective study of almost 8000 people. Unfortinately, at this time, it remains a proprietary test that has not been sufficiently studied. These findings need to be confirmed in larger studies that evaluate the clinical utility of this test. Support for this test in guidelines from professional organizations is lacking.
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