Metabiomics and the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center Collaborate to Advance Research in Colon Cancer Screening
CARLSBAD, Calif., June 2, 2020 – Prescient Metabiomics, a subsidiary of Prescient Medicine Holdings, Inc., announced today a research collaboration with the Harvard Chan Microbiome in Public Health Center (HCMPH Center), a group at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health dedicated to expanding research on the microbiome to improve public health. The aim of the collaboration is to study microbial biomarkers to identify the presence of precancerous adenomas and carcinomas in the colon. The initial collaboration will investigate prevalent gut microbial biomarkers for colorectal cancer (CRC) by analyzing known, recent CRC cases across populations with which the HCMPH Center works and applying cutting-edge statistical and bioinformatic techniques for microbiome meta-analysis.
“The ongoing research collaboration will further enhance diagnostic screening for colon cancer,” said Keri Donaldson, M.D, chief executive officer at Prescient Medicine. “Offering a non-invasive alternative to colonoscopies that screen for colorectal adenomas and carcinomas could represent a paradigm shift in CRC screening driven by the microbiome. Therefore, research to better understand the microbiome’s role in CRC is needed at this time.”
Curtis Huttenhower, Ph.D., professor of computational biology at Harvard Chan School and co-director of the HCMPH Center, said, “The mission of the HCMPH Center is to improve population health via microbiome science, and there are few chronic disease conditions as well-positioned to benefit from microbiome screening as colorectal cancer. It is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths, but also one of the most preventable cancers if detected early. It’s exciting to embark on this collaboration to advance the latest science and, I hope, eventually deploy our findings to the clinic.”
The past decade has seen a dramatic expansion of research on the human microbiome, including investigation into the role of microbes and microbiota in the gastrointestinal track in the origin and development of CRC. The advancements in this field parallel the preceding decade’s growth in personalized genetic medicine, with the microbiome offering opportunities for both therapeutic and diagnostic biomarker discovery.
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and in women. The U.S. spends approximately $14 billion each year for the diagnosis and treatment of CRC with costs largely due to delayed detection. There is a lack of non-invasive screening tests that can accurately detect precancerous polyps as effectively as a colonoscopy, the current standard of care. Screening recommendations currently suggest a colonoscopy for average-risk patients starting at age 45 every 10 years and earlier for high-risk patients, but approximately one in three patients are not in compliance with these recommendations. Research indicates that early detection of precancerous adenomas and carcinomas could lead to significantly better patient outcomes.
Prescient Metabiomics LLC, a privately held company and subsidiary of Prescient Medicine Holdings, Inc., is an early stage molecular diagnostics company developing in-vitro diagnostics that leverage breakthroughs in next-generation DNA sequencing, computational systems biology, and human microbiome sciences. To learn more, visit us at www.metabiomics.com
About SOLVD Health
SOLVD Health (formerly Prescient Medicine) is a privately held company focused on preventing disease by making contextual health information accessible to everyone. Through the development of insights-based health tools, we are enabling individuals and their providers to make better decisions about their health and the health of their families. We accomplish this by translating complex biological signals into actionable patient data that can point the way to better health. To learn more about us, our solutions, and our career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter, or at www.solvdhealth.com.
Janelle Drumwright; firstname.lastname@example.org