The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is looking for men and women 65 to 84 years of age who may be eligible for a colorectal cancer screening research study being conducted locally in partnership with Phoebe Gastroenterology, P.C., and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
Although highly treatable if found early, more than 1,300 Georgia residents die from colorectal cancer each year.
The Cancer Coalition has joined with a national diagnostics company in the study that has the potential to revolutionize colorectal cancer screening and ultimately encourage more people to be screened for the disease - the second leading cancer killer in the United States.
The Cancer Coalition began work with Exact Sciences of Madison, Wisconsin, in late 2011 as one of 100 study sites nationally participating in the pivotal clinical trial on non-invasive diagnostic screening for early detection of colorectal cancer. The study involves testing stool-based DNA of consenting patients 50 to 84 years of age who are at average risk for colorectal cancer. Study participants use a new take-home kit to provide stool samples. Within 90 days, the patient receives a pre-scheduled colonoscopy performed by a Phoebe Gastroenterology, PC, physician. Participants who complete the study receive a $100 stipend.
“Colorectal cancer is treatable if caught early and this test shows promise as a non-invasive screening tool that may ultimately encourage more people to be screened as recommended by their doctor,” said site Principal Invesitagor Matthew Grundfast, DO. Grundfast is a gastroenterologist with Phoebe Gastroenterology.
According to Exact Sciences, the primary objective of the study, called DeeP-C (Multi-Target Colorectal Cancer Screening Test for the Detection of Colorectal Advanced Adenomatous Polyps and Cancer), is to determine the sensitivity of a diagnostic screening test for colorectal cancer, using colonoscopy as the reference method. Once completed, data generated from the study will be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
At the local site, Cancer Coalition Research Specialist Aisha Viquez works in conjunction with Phoebe Gastroenterology in identifying and recruiting study participants. Since enrollment began in late 2011, 84 patients have been enrolled. According to Viquez, the study quota has been met for patients age 50 to 64, and now individuals 65 to 84 are being recruited.
“We are in need of study participants 65 and older because the risk of colorectal cancer increases with age,” Viquez explained. She added that both men and women who have no personal or immediate family history of colorectal cancer and who have not had a colonoscopy in at least 9 years should inquire about the study.
Uninsured and under-insured individuals who would like more information about receiving a colonoscopy can call and ask to speak with a Health Navigator with the Cancer Coalition’s Community Cancer Screening Program at 229-312-1700.
The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is a non-profit organization whose mission and funding focuses solely on cancer control efforts in south Georgia, including cancer education, screening, research, and outreach. Established in 2002, the Cancer Coalition covers 32 south Georgia counties. Find out more at www.sgacancer.org.