ROYAL OAK — Researchers at Beaumont Health System are seeking volunteers for a colon cancer prevention study. Participants must have a colonoscopy in the next four months.

This National Cancer Institute study is looking at the nature of colorectal cancer and trying to develop improved methods to diagnose and treat it.

“The purpose of this nationwide study is to determine whether urine, stool or blood can be used to find colorectal cancer as early or earlier than a colonoscopy,” explains Harry Wasvary, M.D., director, Colorectal Multidisciplinary Tumor Clinic, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and the site’s principal investigator. “We want to use these samples to learn about specific proteins or genes, also called biomarkers. This may indicate if someone has pre-cancerous colon polyps, colon cancer or an increased risk for developing cancer.”

Neither the participant, nor the physician will be informed of the results of the blood, urine or stool tests.

Nearly 6,000 patients will be recruited nationwide for this one-year, multisite study, with approximately 700 from Beaumont Health System.

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year; and more than 50,000 of them die. If found early, it is a disease that can be prevented.

“Colonoscopy is still the best screening tool for colon cancer,” adds Dr. Wasvary. “However, some patients do not like to get or cannot afford to get colonoscopies for a variety of reasons. Researchers are looking for other ways to find colorectal cancer and the polyps that lead to cancer.”

Researchers, like Dr. Wasvary, are part of a NCI program called the Early Detection Research Network.

To be eligible for the study, individuals must:
• Have scheduled a colonoscopy in the next 120 days
• Be responsible for the cost of their colonoscopy; this procedure is covered by many health insurance plans
• Come to the Cancer Clinical Trials Office one week prior to their scheduled colonoscopy (Cancer Center, Beaumont, Royal Oak)
• Be 50-80 years of age
• Complete health history questionnaires
• Be able to tolerate the removal of 41 milliliters (3 tablespoons) of blood
• Be willing to provide urine and stool samples

For more information, including eligibility, contact Beaumont’s Research Institute at (248) 551-7695.

The Beaumont Cancer Institute is one of only 49 Community Clinical Oncology Programs in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute to provide patients with access to leading-edge cancer clinical research trials.

The Beaumont Research Institute has 1,100 active laboratory and clinical studies involving 82,000 patients that are funded by government, foundation and commercial grants. The Research Institute has an annual operating budget of $33.8 million. Find out more at

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