System and Method for Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer


Reference #: 01403

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a system and method for early detection of colorectal cancer.



Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. These cancers form from polyps located in the inner lining of the colon or rectum that have a two-thirds chance of being cancerous. As a result, most colorectal cancers grow slowly and do not show any symptoms, making them extremely hard to detect, though the cancer itself is preventable and curable if detected early. Unfortunately, only 39% of patients with colorectal cancer are diagnosed in early stages.


Invention Description:

The research involved developing a test based on the idea that a specific cell type will shed from the colons of individuals carrying pre-cancerous growths in the colon, but not in individuals with healthy or inflamed colons. For cell identification, shed cells are gently collected through rectal swabbing, fixed, and stained in suspension. After transfer to microscopy slides, computerized analysis of digitized swab cell images is performed using multiple measurements that strictly define this cell type. This test will allow for simple, rapid, minimally invasive and affordable screening for early detection of colorectal cancer.


Potential Applications:

Screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) can successfully detect polyps and polyp-to-cancer progression early, thereby allowing for colorectal cancer prevention through a procedure to remove these polyps. However, current screening methods suffer low adherence rates due to their invasive nature, high-cost or burdensome sample collection. The proposed method based on the identification of change in composition of shed cells from the colon collected by rectal swabbing is minimally invasive, affordable, rapid and unbiased as cell measurement and identification is computerized. Thus, this test may serve as a risk predictor for CRC likely to result in uptake of screening thus prevention of CRC.


Advantages and Benefits:

This minimally invasive methodology may allow for early detection of CRC at low cost, thus improving screening uptake. The test is rapid, unbiased and easily transferable to any laboratory or medical practice.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer Utility United States 16/720,309 11,714,088 12/19/2019 8/1/2023   Issued
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Carole Oskeritzian
Franklin Berger
Alena Chumanevich
John Fuseler
Nabihah Kumte
Ahmed Aladhami
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