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    Identifying Novel Biomarkers Ready for Evaluation in Low-Prevalence Populations for the Early Detection of Lower Gastrointestinal Cancers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
    Druce, P ; Calanzani, N ; Snudden, C ; Milley, K ; Boscott, R ; Behiyat, D ; Martinez-Gutierrez, J ; Saji, S ; Oberoi, J ; Funston, G ; Messenger, M ; Walter, FM ; Emery, J (SPRINGER, 2021-04-27)
    INTRODUCTION: Lower gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are a major cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Prognosis improves with earlier diagnosis, and non-invasive biomarkers have the potential to aid with early detection. Substantial investment has been made into the development of biomarkers; however, studies are often carried out in specialist settings and few have been evaluated for low-prevalence populations. METHODS: We aimed to identify novel biomarkers for the detection of lower GI cancers that have the potential to be evaluated for use in primary care. MEDLINE, Embase, Emcare and Web of Science were systematically searched for studies published in English from January 2000 to October 2019. Reference lists of included studies were also assessed. Studies had to report on measures of diagnostic performance for biomarkers (single or in panels) used to detect colorectal or anal cancers. We included all designs and excluded studies with fewer than 50 cases/controls. Data were extracted from published studies on types of biomarkers, populations and outcomes. Narrative synthesis was used, and measures of specificity and sensitivity were meta-analysed where possible. RESULTS: We identified 142 studies reporting on biomarkers for lower GI cancers, for 24,844 cases and 45,374 controls. A total of 378 unique biomarkers were identified. Heterogeneity of study design, population type and sample source precluded meta-analysis for all markers except methylated septin 9 (mSEPT9) and pyruvate kinase type tumour M2 (TuM2-PK). The estimated sensitivity and specificity of mSEPT9 was 80.6% (95% CI 76.6-84.0%) and 88.0% (95% CI 79.1-93.4%) respectively; TuM2-PK had an estimated sensitivity of 81.6% (95% CI 75.2-86.6%) and specificity of 80.1% (95% CI 76.7-83.0%). CONCLUSION: Two novel biomarkers (mSEPT9 and TuM2-PK) were identified from the literature with potential for use in lower-prevalence populations. Further research is needed to validate these biomarkers in primary care for screening and assessment of symptomatic patients.
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    Identifying Novel Biomarkers Ready for Evaluation in Low-Prevalence Populations for the Early Detection of Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers: A Systematic Review
    Calanzani, N ; Druce, PE ; Snudden, C ; Milley, KM ; Boscott, R ; Behiyat, D ; Saji, S ; Martinez-Gutierrez, J ; Oberoi, J ; Funston, G ; Messenger, M ; Emery, J ; Walter, FM (SPRINGER, 2020-12-11)
    INTRODUCTION: Detecting upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers in primary care is challenging, as cancer symptoms are common, often non-specific, and most patients presenting with these symptoms will not have cancer. Substantial investment has been made to develop biomarkers for cancer detection, but few have reached routine clinical practice. We aimed to identify novel biomarkers for upper GI cancers which have been sufficiently validated to be ready for evaluation in low-prevalence populations. METHODS: We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase, Emcare, and Web of Science for studies published in English from January 2000 to October 2019 (PROSPERO registration CRD42020165005). Reference lists of included studies were assessed. Studies had to report on second measures of diagnostic performance (beyond discovery phase) for biomarkers (single or in panels) used to detect pancreatic, oesophageal, gastric, and biliary tract cancers. We included all designs and excluded studies with less than 50 cases/controls. Data were extracted on types of biomarkers, populations and outcomes. Heterogeneity prevented pooling of outcomes. RESULTS: We identified 149 eligible studies, involving 22,264 cancer cases and 49,474 controls. A total of 431 biomarkers were identified (183 microRNAs and other RNAs, 79 autoantibodies and other immunological markers, 119 other proteins, 36 metabolic markers, 6 circulating tumour DNA and 8 other). Over half (n = 231) were reported in pancreatic cancer studies. Only 35 biomarkers had been investigated in at least two studies, with reported outcomes for that individual marker for the same tumour type. Apolipoproteins (apoAII-AT and apoAII-ATQ), and pepsinogens (PGI and PGII) were the most promising biomarkers for pancreatic and gastric cancer, respectively. CONCLUSION: Most novel biomarkers for the early detection of upper GI cancers are still at an early stage of matureness. Further evidence is needed on biomarker performance in low-prevalence populations, in addition to implementation and health economic studies, before extensive adoption into clinical practice can be recommended.
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    The use of a risk assessment and decision support tool (CRISP) compared with usual care in general practice to increase risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
    Walker, JG ; Macrae, F ; Winship, I ; Oberoi, J ; Saya, S ; Milton, S ; Bickerstaffe, A ; Dowty, JG ; Lourenco, RDA ; Clark, M ; Galloway, L ; Fishman, G ; Walter, FM ; Flander, L ; Chondros, P ; Ouakrim, DA ; Pirotta, M ; Trevena, L ; Jenkins, MA ; Emery, JD (BMC, 2018-07-25)
    BACKGROUND: Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidence rates of colorectal cancer worldwide. In Australia there is significant unwarranted variation in colorectal cancer screening due to low uptake of the immunochemical faecal occult blood test, poor identification of individuals at increased risk of colorectal cancer, and over-referral of individuals at average risk for colonoscopy. Our pre-trial research has developed a novel Colorectal cancer RISk Prediction (CRISP) tool, which could be used to implement precision screening in primary care. This paper describes the protocol for a phase II multi-site individually randomised controlled trial of the CRISP tool in primary care. METHODS: This trial aims to test whether a standardised consultation using the CRISP tool in general practice (the CRISP intervention) increases risk-appropriate colorectal cancer screening compared to control participants who receive standardised information on cancer prevention. Patients between 50 and 74 years old, attending an appointment with their general practitioner for any reason, will be invited into the trial. A total of 732 participants will be randomised to intervention or control arms using a computer-generated allocation sequence stratified by general practice. The primary outcome (risk-appropriate screening at 12 months) will be measured using baseline data for colorectal cancer risk and objective health service data to measure screening behaviour. Secondary outcomes will include participant cancer risk perception, anxiety, cancer worry, screening intentions and health service utilisation measured at 1, 6 and 12 months post randomisation. DISCUSSION: This trial tests a systematic approach to implementing risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening in primary care, based on an individual's absolute risk, using a state-of-the-art risk assessment tool. Trial results will be reported in 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, ACTRN12616001573448p . Registered on 14 November 2016.