A highly sensitive method that can detect even the earlier stages of colorectal cancer has been developed by researchers in Japan. Researchers at the Shimadzu Corporation, the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, and the National Cancer Center in Japan have collaborated to develop a new screening method that comprehensively analyzes the metabolites in our blood. The results of this research were published in the online edition of Oncotarget, a U.S. scientific publication, on February 4, 2017. The article is titled “Investigations in the Possibility of Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer by Gas Chromatography/Triple-Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry.” Colorectal cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death, and cases of this cancer are increasing in developed countries. In 2012, a group headed by Associate Professor Yoshida Masaru at Kobe University used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and clinical metabolomic analysis methods to analyze serum samples from colorectal cancer patients and healthy subjects. The group succeeded in identifying four metabolite markers that can be used to diagnose colorectal cancer and developed a highly reliable diagnostic prediction model using those markers. This model was considered to be more practical in comparison with existing tumor markers, but it lacked sensitivity and specificity when actually used as a screening method.
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