BACKGROUND: Emerging colorectal cancer trends demonstrate increased incidence and mortality in younger populations, prompting consideration of average-risk colorectal cancer screening initiation at age 45 versus 50 years. However, screening test performance characteristics in adults 45-49 years have been minimally described. To inform the biologic rationale for multi-target stool DNA (mt-sDNA) screening in younger patients, we analyzed and compared tissue levels of methylation (BMP3, NDRG4) and mutation (KRAS) markers included in the FDA-approved, mt-sDNA assay (Cologuard; Exact Sciences Corporation). METHODS: Within 40-44, 45-49, and 50-64 year age groups, archived colorectal tissue specimens were identified for 211 sporadic colorectal cancer cases, 123 advanced precancerous lesions (APLs; adenomas >1 cm, high-grade dysplasia, ≥25% villous morphology, or sessile serrated polyp; 45-49 and 50-64 age groups only), and 204 histologically normal controls. Following DNA extraction, KRAS, BMP3, and NDRG4 were quantified using QuARTS assays, relative to ACTB (reference gene). RESULTS: None of the molecular marker concentrations were significantly associated with age (P > 0.05 for all comparisons), with the exception of NDRG4 concentration in APL samples (higher in older vs. younger cases; P = 0.008). However, NDRG4 levels were also statistically higher in APL case versus normal control samples in both the 45-49 (P < 0.0001) and 50-64 (P < 0.0001) year age groups. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these findings support the potential for earlier onset of average-risk colorectal cancer screening with the mt-sDNA assay. IMPACT: These novel data address an identified knowledge gap and strengthen the biologic basis for earlier-onset, average-risk screening with the mt-sDNA assay.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2020|
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