Liquid biopsy has potential to be standard test for colorectal cancer recurrence

National Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease and educate patients, especially about recurrence, one of the most important factors influencing survival. According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, liquid biopsy could be one of the main technique to test for CRC recurrence as these tests are a promising alternative that can assist in predicting recurrence with better sensitivity and safety.

GlobalData’s report, ‘Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests – In Vitro Diagnostics Market Analysis and Forecast Model (COVID-19 Market Impact)’, reveals that worldwide over 140 million IVD tests for CRC screening are sold each year. This annual figure is expected to reach 174.4 million by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.82%. The release of novel assays such as liquid biopsy tests is expected to contribute to overall market growth.

Aliyah Farouk, Senior Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “CRC patients typically require continuous follow ups with repeated antigen tests and tomographic scans. However, the sensitivity of these methods is low and tomographic scans can be risky with frequent exposure. Therefore, the liquid biopsy would be the better alternative for these patients.”

The application of liquid biopsy in oncology has developed at rapid speed. The market is currently heating up with CRC related assays making up over 10% of liquid biopsy oncology tests, according to GlobalData’s marketed products database. In addition to predicting relapse, liquid biopsy tests can also be used for early diagnosis and monitoring treatment responses. It is therefore no surprise that companies are investing in this lucrative space. Guardant Health is the latest contender with a recent product launch. GlobalData expects that players such as Exact Sciences will also join the market.

Farouk concludes: “In general, CRC screening tests are increasing due to aging populations and the implementation of routine screening programs in most countries. The COVID-19 pandemic hindered the market, especially during the first quarter of 2020. However, as healthcare providers sought out ways to minimize patient contact, companies providing at-home screening tests benefited.”

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