Robust performance of a novel stool DNA test of methylated SDC2 for colorectal cancer detection: a multicenter clinical study

Colorectal Cancer

Clin Epigenetics. 2020 Oct 30;12(1):162. doi: 10.1186/s13148-020-00954-x.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Stool DNA testing is an emerging and attractive option for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. We previously evaluated the feasibility of a stool DNA (sDNA) test of methylated SDC2 for CRC detection. The aim of this study was to assess its performance in a multicenter clinical trial setting.

METHODS: Each participant was required to undergo a sDNA test and a reference colonoscopy. The sDNA test consists of quantitative assessment of methylation status of SDC2 promoter. Results of real-time quantitative methylation-specific PCR were dichotomized as positive and negative, and the main evaluation indexes were sensitivity, specificity, and kappa value. All sDNA tests were performed and analyzed independently of colonoscopy.

RESULTS: Among the 1110 participants from three clinical sites analyzed, 359 and 38 were diagnosed, respectively, with CRC and advanced adenomas by colonoscopy. The sensitivity of the sDNA test was 301/359 (83.8%) for CRC, 16/38 (42.1%) for advanced adenomas, and 134/154 (87.0%) for early stage CRC (stage I-II). Detection rate did not vary significantly according to age, tumor location, differentiation, and TNM stage, except for gender. The follow-up testing of 40 postoperative patients with CRC returned negative results as their tumors had been surgically removed. The specificity of the sDNA test was 699/713 (98.0%), and unrelated cancers and diseases did not seem to interfere with the testing. The kappa value was 0.84, implying an excellent diagnostic consistency between the sDNA test and colonoscopy.

CONCLUSION: Noninvasive sDNA test using methylated SDC2 as the exclusive biomarker is a clinically viable and accurate CRC detection method.

CHINESE CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY: Chi-CTR-TRC-1900026409, retrospectively registered on October 8, 2019; .