Bowel cancer kit chosen for pilot

The $2.6 million contract to provide kits for the four-year bowel cancer screening pilot which begins in Waitemata in October has gone to a Japanese manufacturer.

Eiken Chemical Co won the contract ahead of four other companies, the Ministry of Health announced recently.

The immunochemical faecal occult test kit it produces will mean participants in the trial will be required to collect only a single faecal sample and there will be no special dietary restrictions.

Its one-sample nature was considered more likely to be acceptable to the population than a kit requiring multiple samples.

The ministry said the test, known as OC-Sensor, was widely used in screening programmes including in Italy, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and the United States. Criteria for choosing it included the ability to modify the positivity threshold so it can identify more possible cancers.

The pilot will cover 135,000 people aged 50 to 74 in the Waitemata District health Board area. It is expected to attract 60% participation for two rounds of testing.


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