BGI Genomics and Zentya collaborate to launch first-ever fecal DNA tests for colorectal cancer in Slovakia

BGI Genomics is pleased to announce the launch of COLOTECTTM 1.0 in Slovakia, in collaboration with its local partner, Zentya. Zentya is a Slovak-based healthcare solution provider that is passionate about providing patients with the latest technology in the field of genetic screening, aiming to help identify and facilitate timely treatments of genetic diseases.

COLOTECTTM 1.0 is one of the first-ever fecal DNA tests for colorectal cancer that is available in the country. It is a non-invasive fecal DNA test developed by BGI Genomics for detecting colorectal cancer and precancerous lesions. It uses multiplex methylation-specific PCR (MSP) technology to trace abnormal colorectal cancer DNA-methylation biomarkers from fecal samples.

A product launch press conference was held by Zentya in Bratislava, Slovakia, on March 21, 2023. Dr. Martin Huroka (Chief Gastroenterology Specialist, Ministry of Health), Dr. Lucia Starovecká Copák (Medical Geneticist), and Dr. Jozef Dolinský (Clinical Oncologist), were the invited speakers of the event.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund Organization (2020), Slovakia has the second-highest colorectal cancer incidence rate worldwide and ranks the top in colorectal cancer mortality. This shows the urgency of promoting and encouraging colorectal cancer screening across the country.

Dr. Martin Huroka explained that age and family history of colon cancer are significant factors in the incidence of colorectal cancer. "The risk of colorectal cancer increases dramatically after age 50, or with a positive family history. Colorectal cancer is almost 100% preventable, and people would not have to die from intestinal cancer with regular preventive examinations", Dr. Huroka stated.

Early detection is the key to the prevention of colorectal cancer and the improvement of survival rate because the progression of colorectal cancer development is generally very slow. It can take up to 10 to 15 years to develop from normal epithelium to adenomatous polyps and then undergo malignant transformation to become colorectal cancer.

"The slow development of the disease creates a favorable opportunity for its early detection and intervention -- timely removal of adenomatous polyps. When diagnosed early - localized stage, the five-year survival rate of patients can be as high as 90%. However, the five-year survival rate drops significantly to only 10 to 15% at the advanced - metastatic stage. Early detection of the disease can no doubt save lives. Economically, it also costs much less to treat an early-diagnosed disease than advanced cancer", said Dr. Jozef Dolinský.

The availability of COLOTECTTM 1.0 in Slovakia offers an easy and convenient alternative for accurate screening and detection. "Its sensitivity for detecting colorectal cancers is 88%, and specificity for identifying subjects without advanced colorectal neoplasm is 92%. Most importantly, for early detection, its sensitivity for advanced adenoma is 46%", Dr. Lucia Starovecká Copák noted.

COLOTECTTM 1.0 is CE-marked, available in more than 20 countries across South-East Europe, including Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Portugal, and many more.

Fecal samples of COLOTECTTM 1.0 can be self-collected in the privacy of your own home at any time. The ease of use and non-invasive nature of the test is expected to help overcome many of the obstacles to colorectal cancer screening faced by patients.

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