Somagen Featured Prodcut

By: Somagen  09-12-2011
Keywords: Colorectal Cancer, Dietary Restrictions

The staggering statistics associated with this disease show you why we simply cannot ignore it. Colorectal cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in Canada.1 However, when detected early through regular screening there is a 90 percent chance of curing colorectal cancer, compared with only 10% if it is detected at an advanced stage.2

The 2009 Colorectal Cancer Statistics for Canada state that an estimated 22,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 9,100 Canadians will succumb to the disease. Furthermore on average, it is estimated that each week 423 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 175 Canadians will die from the disease.1 The solution is annual screening with an effective screening test.

It is recommended by several authorities including the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology and the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation that men and women 50 years of age or older, who do not have a family history of colorectal cancer, be screened every two years using a guaiac-based test with dietary restrictions (traditional FOBT) or a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) for heme without dietary restrictions. Polyps or tumors in the colon have blood vessels on their surface that can release a small amount of blood in the stool. Testing for occult blood can prevent cancer by detecting polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous. Studies have demonstrated that colorectal cancer death rates can be reduced by 15% to 18% with regular screening.3

Traditional guaiac FOBT screening does however have some limitations including dietary and medicinal restrictions. Newer Immunoassay fecal occult blood screening methods provide increased sensitivity and specificity. In some provinces the new automated fecal immunochemical test Auto FIT (FOBT-CHEK®oc) has been implemented as the screening method of choice. Auto FIT (FOBT-CHEK®oc) is the first automated fecal immunological based test available in Canada. This advanced immunoassay specifically detects human hemoglobin. Therefore, there are no dietary or medicinal restrictions. In addition, only one patient sample is required. Patients can collect the sample with ease with no interruption to their daily routine. Studies have shown that an easy to use collection device and no dietary restrictions lead to increased patient compliance. With increased patient compliance, increased sensitivity and specificity, you obtain less false positive results with more of the right patients being referred to colonoscopy.

“The best screening method is the one that gets done’4

The novel collection device enables the physician or the patient to easily collect a sample and return the sample to the lab for quick and accurate results with faster turn-around-times. The patient collects one single sample from one stool instead of three separate specimens. The sample is collected and closed by the patient and never reopened. The instrument measures the closed sample collection devices. The laboratory technologist never comes in contact with the sample. The sample is analyzed using the OC-Auto Micro 80 automated analyzer. The instrument measures 80 samples per hour and its compact design is ideal for a small workstation. With automation the subjectivity of reading results is removed and results are automatically uploaded into the LIS system, thereby eliminating transcription errors. Quality control data is also consistently collected, streamlining laboratory functions and verification of results.

With the initiatives put forth by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer for a National Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, the time is now to initiate these programs with the best test on the market. The fully automated Auto FIT (FOBT-CHEK®oc) platformoffers a number of unique advantages, please contact Somagen Diagnostic for more information on this new test recently introduced in Canada.


Auto FIT

Guaiac Test

Dietary restrictions



Restriction on medications



Number of samples required



Number of days required for sample collection





98% *




Patient compliance

91% **





Specimen container

A completely closed system

An open system, risk of exposure

Collection of sample

Easy, one step

Subject to patient error

* Denotes strict adherence to sample collection regarding diet and medications
** European Journal of Cancer Prevention 2006; 15 384-390

  1. Ries L, Melbert D, Krapcho M (eds.), et al. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2004. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute, 2007.
  2. Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines 2005: The Fecal Occult Blood Test Option Has Become a Better FIT.  Gastroenterology Vol. 129, No. 2, p. 745-748.  Aug 2005.

Keywords: Colorectal Cancer, Dietary Restrictions

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