March 20, 2023: Oxford Cancer Biomarkers (OCB) and OncoHelix today announce a new partnership to offer OCB’s advanced genetic tests in Canada for screening and detection of people at risk for colorectal cancer. Based on ground-breaking research at the University of Oxford, this screening test was identified by analysis of a series of large, collaborative studies, involving more than 100,000 individuals and detects several specific point mutations in a person’s genetic code that are associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. However, CRC is largely preventable and curable if detected early through screening. Screening for CRC is recommended for average-risk individuals starting at age 50 and continuing until age 75, and younger for those with a first-degree family member with history of colorectal cancer. Those who have previously had cancer or other health conditions that may increase their risk of developing cancer could also consider screening for colorectal cancer before the age of 50 years.
OCB’s CRC screening test will help signpost opportunities to make early modifications to lifestyle and commit to regular screenings that can help offset an increased risk and could help diagnose colorectal cancer at the earliest opportunity. The test will complement existing cancer screening programs and will be available through OncoHelix’s network of partners providing direct-to-consumer (DTC) testing in Canada. The test will be available for Canadians in the summer of 2023.
David Kerr CBE FRCP FMedSCi, OCB Director and Prof of Cancer Medicine, University of Oxford says, ‘After a professional lifetime of treating patients with advanced colorectal cancer, I see the extraordinary potential of this genetic test to reduce the number of patients who develop this disease and to detect cancer at an earlier stage when there is a much greater likelihood that tumor can be cured by surgery. It will not replace current screening programs for colorectal cancer, but will be a significant value add, identifying at-risk individuals for more intensive surveillance.’
“We are thrilled to partner with OCB and take a significant step forward in our journey to offer cutting-edge molecular tests for cancer screening to Canadians. This partnership underscores our commitment to providing the latest advancements in cancer diagnostics to our patients and healthcare professionals. OCB’s genetic test will allow early and accurate identification of Canadians at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, thus allowing timely intervention and prompt pre-emptive lifestyle changes.” Says Dr. Faisal Khan, CEO, OncoHelix, and Associate Professor at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Pinaki Bose, VP, Planning and Management, OncoHelix, and Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary. Says, “Joining forces in Canada with a reputed organization like OCB will allow OncoHelix to expand the battery of genomic tests accessible directly to consumers in Canada. This critical cancer screening genetic test will nicely complement our comprehensive genomic profiling panels already serving Canadians.”
The partnership between OncoHelix and OCB represents an important step forward in the fight against cancer, offering Canadians access to the latest advancements in personalized cancer diagnosis and a commitment to improving patient outcomes in colorectal cancer.