Cancer is a disease of abnormal cell growth because of DNA genetic mutation. Uncontrolled growth of cancer cells leads to organ failure and death. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most frequent cause of cancer death. It is estimated that over 135,000 new cases of CRC will be diagnosed in the US and over 50,000 Americans will die of CRC this year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if CRC were detected at an early and resectable stage. Detection of tumors before they metastasize is the key to successful treatment. Better tests for the early detection, and monitoring of disease status for CRC are needed because fewer than 65% of Americans 50 years of age and older are current with any form of CRC screening. A non-invasive, economical, accurate test for CRC that can be used in a clinic setting would likely improve screening compliance rates.
Recent advances in molecular technology have significantly increased the value of laboratory testing for cancer and other diseases. Molecular profiling techniques allow the identification of patients that will respond to specific therapies, thus improving care and minimizing exposure to toxic drugs. This can significantly lower healthcare costs while improving outcomes.
Using state-of-the-art technologies, new approaches are emerging to identify patients with early stage and potentially curable cancers. These technologies may predict response to therapy in a way that the most appropriate therapy can be chosen for a given patient based on the molecular signature of their cancer. These technologies evaluate the presence and number of biomolecules in tissues and body fluids. Proteins, biomolecules, and DNA information make up a cancer signature which can be studied to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Surgical Associates P.C. is pleased to announce its partnership with Somnos Clinical Research. Together, Surgical Associates P.C. and Somnos will collect blood and tissue samples from CRC patients who are interested in advancing the scientific understanding of how CRC differs from patient to patient. Our first patients were enrolled last week. By participating in this very important medical research, these patients have consented to having a vial of blood and a small amount of tumor sent to a lab to study their unique cancer signatures. While maintaining patient confidentiality, these cancer signatures will be compared to a bank of other patients’ cancer signatures to aid in the development of new treatments and screening tests. Surgical Associates P.C., Somnos, and our patients hope to ultimately improve the detection and cure of CRC in the very near future.