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A new screening test, funded by NIHR Oxford BRC, is being hailed the most efficient way to indicate risk of colorectal cancer.

First stage UK research, published today, shows that an advanced computer algorithm technology can successfully indicate levels of risk by analysing previous blood test results in patients’ existing medical records.

The paper, ‘Evaluation of a prediction model for colorectal cancer: retrospective analysis of 2.5 million patient records’, is published today in the journal Cancer Medicine.

Advances in algorithm technology – a mathematical analysis of data – have led to the ability to search ultra-rapidly through existing NHS records to determine whether a patient is at risk of colorectal cancer.

This has the potential to save lives through early detection as well as reducing the need for unnecessary costly and invasive tests.

The algorithm, established in Tel Aviv and shown to work on the Israeli population, has now been trialled in the very different UK population.

This radically different approach has been tested over the past two years by Oxford University and funded by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

Read more (Oxford Biomedical Research Centre website)