FDA advisers back Exact Sciences colon cancer test

March 27, 2014 by The Associated Press

A panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers has voted to endorse an experimental stool test that uses DNA to detect colon cancer and precancerous growths.

The FDA's panel of genetic experts voted 10-0 that the benefits of Exact Sciences' Cologuard test outweigh its risks. The vote amounts to a recommendation for the FDA to approve the test from Exact Sciences. The agency is not required to follow the panel's advice, but often does.

Doctors have long used stool tests to look for hidden blood that can be a warning sign of tumors and .

Cologuard and other DNA tests in development detect minute genetic changes associated with cancer cells in the colon.

Colonoscopy is the most accurate test, but many adults are reluctant to undergo the invasive procedure.

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