Clinical Validation of a Multitarget Fecal Immunochemical Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening : A Diagnostic Test Accuracy Study.



Diagnostic test accuracy study.


Persons (n = 1284) from a screening (n = 1038) and referral (n = 246) population were classified by their most advanced lesion (CRC [n = 47], advanced adenoma [n = 135], advanced serrated polyp [n = 30], nonadvanced adenoma [n = 250], and nonadvanced serrated polyp [n = 53]), along with control participants (n = 769).


Compared with FIT, the mtFIT showed better diagnostic accuracy in detecting advanced neoplasia because of an increased detection of advanced adenomas. Moreover, early health technology assessment indicated that these results provide a sound basis to pursue further development of mtFIT as a future test for population-based CRC screening. A prospective screening trial is in preparation.


The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is used in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, yet it leaves room for improvement.


To develop a multitarget FIT (mtFIT) with better diagnostic performance than FIT.


The CART analysis showed a combination of hemoglobin, calprotectin, and serpin family F member 2-the mtFIT-to have a cross-validated sensitivity for advanced neoplasia of 42.9% (95% CI, 36.2% to 49.9%) versus 37.3% (CI, 30.7% to 44.2%) for FIT (P = 0.025), with equal specificity of 96.6%. In particular, cross-validated sensitivity for advanced adenomas increased from 28.1% (CI, 20.8% to 36.5%) to 37.8% (CI, 29.6% to 46.5%) (P = 0.006). On the basis of these results, early health technology assessment indicated that mtFIT-based screening could be cost-effective compared with FIT.


Antibody-based assays were developed and applied to leftover FIT material. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was applied to biomarker concentrations to identify the optimal combination for detecting advanced neoplasia. Performance of this combination, the mtFIT, was cross-validated using a leave-one-out approach and compared with FIT at equal specificity.


Study population is enriched with persons from a referral population.


Colonoscopy-controlled series.


Stand Up to Cancer/Dutch Cancer Society, Dutch Digestive Foundation, and HealthHolland.

More about this publication

Annals of internal medicine
  • Publication date 20-07-2021

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