This post has been updated to include comments from a Quest spokesperson.
Quest has begun offering a colorectal cancer-detection test based on DNA methylation of the Septin9 gene, the company said in a statement today.
The test, which Quest had originally planned to begin offering last year, will be marketed as ColoVantage. It is based on the mSEPT9 DNA-methylation biomarker identified by Epigenomics, which is designed to interrogate the Septin 9 gene in blood plasma.
In February 2008 Quest became the first US reference lab to license the Septin9 biomarker from Epigenomics, and is now the first commercial lab in the US to offer a lab-developed test based on it.
A Quest spokesperson told me physicians may order ColoVantage in a number of ways, including contacting the company's Nichols Institute lab in Chantilly, Va. — which currently performs the test — and online.
In its statement, Quest stressed that ColoVantage "has yet to be clinically validated as a screening test," but that "it may promote further evaluation in patients who have resisted testing in the past or as an adjunct to existing procedures."