TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2012) - CML HealthCare Inc. (TSX:CLC) today announced the introduction of COLOGIC, a new and simple blood test used to assess the risk of colorectal (colon) cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada. Last year alone, over 9,000 Canadians died from the disease. More tragic, perhaps, is that colorectal cancer death is preventable with appropriate screening and treatment. Early detection most often leads to a complete recovery. An estimated 23,000 Canadians will be diagnosed this year, many with advanced disease. Because most people do not experience any symptoms in the early stages, appropriate screening is critical.
"Colorectal cancer is a completely preventable disease if we screen for it," says gastroenterologist, Dr. Mario Castelli. "And it gets more common as we get older, so that's why the recommendation is, usually starting at the age of 50, that everyone should be screened."
A recent report suggests that while 81 per cent of Canadians are aware that screening tests exist and recognize the benefits of screening, only 32 per cent over 50 years old report having a screening test completed(i).
While there are a variety of screening tests available, preparing for them can prove challenging. Often, fasting and other dietary restrictions are required, and patients must collect multiple fecal samples over the course of three days or more. COLOGIC does not require any advance preparation, only the collection of a small blood sample at a CML lab location.
"This is a much simpler test," Dr. Castelli explains. "You just go to the laboratory without any preparation, have a blood sample drawn and the results go to your physician within days."
Experts such as Barry Stein, president of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC), suggest that preventative screening and early detection can save lives. "Adults should speak with their family physician about the appropriate time for them to be screened for colorectal cancer."
"Now, with several ways to screen for colorectal cancer risk, this very simple colorectal cancer screening test eliminates any excuse for delaying screening," says Dr. Philip Stuart, CML HealthCare, Medical Director.
"In partnership with Phenomenome Discoveries Inc., the inventors of the COLOGIC test, we are pleased to offer a new screening test for colorectal cancer risk that is simple for patients and avoids multiple steps associated with fecal-based screening tests. We'll be thrilled if anything we do to promote COLOGIC leads to increased testing for colorectal cancer. Our message is 'speak to your family doctor and get tested'. We are very proud to be the first clinical lab in the world to offer COLOGIC," adds Thomas Wellner, President and CEO, CML HealthCare.
About CML HealthCare Inc.
Based in Mississauga, Ontario, CML HealthCare Inc. is Canada's leading community-based, medical diagnostic services provider operating 140 laboratory collection centres in Ontario, 94 imaging centres in Ontario and British Columbia, and a reference laboratory in Ontario focused on specialized coagulation testing for customers worldwide. CML is publicly-traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "CLC" and has approximately 89.8 million common shares outstanding. For more information, please visit www.cmlhealthcare.com and follow us on Twitter @cmlhealthcare.
In partnership with Phenomenome Discoveries Inc. (PDI), CML HealthCare has made the commitment to commercialize COLOGIC in Canada, starting in Ontario. PDI is a Canadian biotechnology company, established in 2000 with a focus in clinical diagnostics.
COLOGIC is based on the discovery that approximately nine out of ten patients with colorectal cancer are deficient in novel anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory metabolites in their blood. COLOGIC detects this deficiency to determine patient risk.
The COLOGIC test has a sensitivity of 86 per cent versus an average range of 35 - 61 per cent for fecal occult blood test/fecal immunochemical test (FOBT/FIT). Clinical support for COLOGIC includes four published papers outlining the science and clinical outcomes of a study involving 4,923 patients.
COLOGIC is not a substitute to colonoscopy. COLOGIC will provide an easily understood result on whether the individual has an elevated risk for colon cancer. COLOGIC screening complies with current clinical guidelines to be used for fecal-based screening. A positive test result should be followed up with a colonoscopy to confirm the presence of cancer.
The cost of COLOGIC is $75.00. Many insurance plans will reimburse patients for physician requisitioned laboratory tests.
For information on COLOGIC, visit www.cologiclabtest.com.