Exfoliated colonocyte DNA levels and clinical features in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer: a cohort study in patients referred for investigation.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
AIM: Selection of patients for investigation of suspected colorectal cancer is difficult. One possible improvement may be to measure DNA isolated from exfoliated cells collected from the rectum. METHOD: This was a cohort study in a surgical clinic. Participants were aged ≥40 years and referred for investigation of suspected colorectal cancer. Exclusion criteria were inflammatory bowel disease, previous gastrointestinal malignancy, or recent investigation. A sample of the mucocellular layer of the rectum was taken with an adapted proctoscope (the Colonix system). Haemoglobin, mean cell volume, ferritin, carcino-embryonic antigen and faecal occult bloods were tested. Analysis was by logistic regression. RESULTS: Participation was offered to 828 patients, of whom 717 completed the investigations. Three were lost to follow up. Seventy-two (10%) had colorectal cancer. Exfoliated cell DNA was higher (P<0.001) in cancer (median 5.4 μg/ml [inter-quartile range 1.8,12]) compared with those without cancer (2.0 μg/ml [IQR 0.78,5.5]). Seven variables were independently associated with cancer, including age (odds ratio [OR], 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02,1.08; P<0.001) DNA (OR, 1.05; CI, 1.01,3.6; P=0.01), mean cell volume (OR, 0.93; CI, 0.89,0.97; P=0.001), carcino-embryonic antigen 1.02 per μg/l (CI, 1.00,1.04; P=0.02), male sex (OR, 2.0; CI, 1.1,3.6; P=0.02), rectal bleeding (OR, 2.4; CI, 1.3,4.5; P=0.007) and positive faecal occult blood (OR, 6.7; CI, 3.4, 13; P<0.001). The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve for the DNA score was 0.65 (0.58-0.72) and for the seven variable model 0.88 (CI, 0.84-0.92). CONCLUSION: Quantification of exfoliated DNA from rectal cellular material has promise in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer, but this requires confirmation in a larger study.
The study was funded by a project grant from Colonix Medical Ltd.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Vol. 14, Iss. 3, pp. 306 - 313
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