What's Going Out the Front End Could Tell us What's Happening at the Back End

EDMONTON, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - If University of Alberta medical professor Dr. Richard Fedorak's research is correct, your urine sample may tell your doctor if you have cancer in your colon.

He has discovered a number of biomarkers in urine that may prove to be a more accurate diagnostic tool to detect colonic polyps before they become colon cancer than current stool/blood sample analysis. Its accuracy may dramatically reduce the need for exploratory colonoscopies or X-rays.

Metabolomics is a new area of medical research that tells doctors what is happening in our bodies through metabolites (biomarkers) in human waste including urine, stool, and breath.

Curious about metabolomics as a possible early detector of colon cancer, Dr. Fedorak analyzed urine samples from patients enrolled in a 1200 subject clinical trial. He discovered a biomarker pattern collected from the "front end" (urine) was an indicator of colonic polyps at the "back end".

To date, Dr. Fedorak's urine metabolomics has shown an 88% accuracy rate in testing for colonic polyps, the precursor to colon cancer, which is much higher than current tests. Once a polyp is identified it can safely be removed with a colonoscopy.

With TEC Edmonton's help, Dr. Fedorak has formed Metabolomic Technologies Inc www.metabolomictechnologies.ca

Dr. Fedorak will head up the scientific research. TEC Edmonton has assisted in the complicated business of forming the company. The next steps will involve raising investment dollars and ultimately marketing the diagnostic tool once trials are complete.

The real win here is savings lives.  Prevention of colon cancer in those persons who have colonic polyps that are identified and removed is nearly 100%. In contrast, if polyps are not detected they invariably develop into colon cancer, the survival of which is less than 50 %.   Early diagnosis is the key, and a test like the one Dr. Fedorak is developing may be the answer.

"Successful commercialization of MTI colon cancer test will benefit us all," says Reg Joseph, MTI's newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, "It's the kind of high-tech story that, if successful, will generate considerable knowledge-economy jobs for young Edmontonians and save the lives of many people."


TEC Edmonton helps transform high-tech discoveries into viable business opportunities. Through our business services, TEC Edmonton helps navigate the commercialization process by providing assistance with technology evaluation, intellectual property protection, business plan development, marketing research, corporate management and funding preparation - as well as provides a home for startups in the TEC Centre incubation facility. A unique non-for-profit enterprise, TEC Edmonton is a joint venture between Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) and the University of Alberta. For more information visit www.TECedmonton.com


For further information:

Reg Joseph, BSc, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Metabolomic Technologies Inc.
Phone: 780.248.1061, Fax: 780.492.7876
          Dr. Richard N. Fedorak
Professor of Medicine,
Division of Gastrointestinal
University of Alberta
(780) 492-6941

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TEC Edmonton

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