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The early detection of colorectal cancer aiming to save thousands of lives every year


Early detection of cancer saves lives

InTERCEPT_Saves_LivesPilot studies using Owlstone’s Lonestar® FAIMS platform technology have shown promising results. A study of volatile organic compounds in urine showed a sensitivity of 88% for colorectal cancer and 62% for advanced adenomas, a pre-cancerous stage of colorectal cancer. This is a substantial increase in the rate of detection compared with the current tests based on detecting blood in feces.

We believe that our screening test has the potential to save thousands of lives and billions of pounds in healthcare costs over the next 10 years.

In collaboration with Warwick University and the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Owlstone is running a 1,400 patient trial for colorectal cancer screening using breath and urine samples. 

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Patient Consent

Taking part

Taking part in the clinical study

To be able to take part in this study the patient must be under clinical suspicion of having colorectal cancer, be aged 18 or older and agree to provide written consent to taking part in the clinical study. Patients who attend the UHCW hospital may be invited to take part; it is not possible to volunteer for this study.

You don’t have to take part and you can withdraw your consent at any time. Data is stored securely at Owlstone Medical and its researchers do not have access to any information which could be used to identify you.


What to expect if you are selected

If you are selected and agree to take part a nurse will explain the study to you and answer any of your questions. If you are happy to take part the nurse will fill in a questionnaire with information about you and your health and will take a sample of breath using Owlstone Medical’s ReCIVA breath sampler and ask you to provide a mid-stream urine sample. These samples will be analyzed by Owlstone Medical in its Cambridge Laboratory. These results, along with other information that we get from your doctor such as whether the tumour is cancer, will be used to develop a new test to screen for colorectal cancer.

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Study protocol

Summary of the protocol

  • Design

    The study is a single centre, prospective cohort study of up to 1,000 patients. Clinical outcomes will be monitored at 6 and 12 months

  • Primary outcome

    The primary aim is to validate the accuracy of VOC analysis for colorectal cancer and advanced adenoma detection in both breath and urine

  • Patient eligibility

    Aged 18 or older, who have been referred under a clinical suspicion of having colorectal cancer to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

  • What to expect

    After a briefing and agreeing to take part a nurse will take a sample of breath (using ReCIVA) and a urine sample

  • Sample analysis

    Breath samples will be analysed using Owlstone’s FAIMS platform and GC-MS, urine samples using LC-UltraFAIMS-MS platform

  • Data analysis

    The diagnostic algorithm will be developed on a random selection of two thirds of the study population, the training set.

Ramesh Asararadnam in lab


The people behind the clinical trial

The Principal Investigator for the InTERCEPT trial is Professor Ramesh Arasaradnam from Warwick University and Consultant Gastroenterologist at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. Ramesh graduated from Queen’s and completed specialty training in Sheffield and doctoral research at Newcastle.

His clinical and research interests are in gut physiology, nutrition, inflammatory and cancer biology and he has several publications.

The Owlstone Medical PI is Dr Marc van der Schee. Marc obtained his Medical degree at VU University Amsterdam and has extensive expertise in all aspects of developing and running clinical trials using volatile biomarkers for disease diagnosis, monitoring and phenotyping. Marc is responsible for all clinical applications at Owlstone Medical.

By investing in Owlstone Medical you can help make this happen sooner.

We are on a mission to save 100,000 lives. By investing in Owlstone Medical you can support our research and help make this happen sooner.

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