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Clinical validation of a novel urine-based metabolomic test for the detection of colonic polyps on Chinese population

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Colorectal cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in China. When detected early, with the removal of adenomatous polyps, precursors of colorectal cancer, it is preventable. The aim of this study was to evaluate a novel urine-based metabolomic diagnostic test for the detection of adenomatous polyps, PolypDx™, that was originally developed and validated using 1000 samples from Canadian Cohort, on Chinese population.


Prospective urine samples were collected from 1000 participants undergoing colonoscopy examination, from March 2013 to July 2014 at Minhang District, Shanghai Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. One-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of urine metabolites were analyzed to determine the concentrations of three key metabolites used in PolypDx™. The predicted results were then compared to the gold standard for colorectal cancer diagnostic, colonoscopy. Area under curve (AUC) was calculated specifically for the Chinese population and compared with the Canadian dataset. Sensitivity and specificity of this urine-based metabolomic diagnostic test were also compared with three commercially available fecal-based tests.


An AUC of 0.717 for PolypDx™ was calculated on Chinese dataset which is slightly lower than the AUC on the Canadian dataset. A sensitivity of 82.6% and a specificity of 42.4% were achieved on Chinese dataset.


Here, we validated a novel urine-based metabolomic diagnostic test for the detection of adenomatous polyps, PolypDx™, on Chinese population through a sample size of 1000 participants with a greater level of sensitivity than fecal-based tests.

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Correspondence to Lu Deng.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

R.N.F. is the co-founder and majority shareholder; L.D., V.K.T., R.R.F., S.C.K., and D.C. are employees of the Metabolomic Technologies Inc. (MTI). MTI is commercializing the PolypDx™.

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Deng, L., Fang, H., Tso, V.K. et al. Clinical validation of a novel urine-based metabolomic test for the detection of colonic polyps on Chinese population. Int J Colorectal Dis 32, 741–743 (2017).

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