With less than a month to go before the start of 2018, let’s check in on the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s (NCCRT) ambitious call to action: “80% by 2018.” Nearly four years ago the organization kicked off this initiative to not only raise awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening, but to get more people screened.
Since the start of the campaign, more than 1500 organizations including medical professional societies, government agencies, cancer centers, survivor groups and payers have committed to the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older getting regularly screened for colorectal cancer. Offering tools, resources, support and regular updates, the campaign is celebrating successes. Yet recognizing that there is still much more work to be done, the NCCRT recently announced it will extend the charter beyond 2018 and has renamed it the “80% Pledge.”
We look forward to discussing new strategies to engage more people to get screened at this week’s annual NCCRT conference. Exact Sciences is participating in the national gathering of colorectal cancer experts and advocacy groups and is highlighting the contributions we have made to the 80% campaign. Cologuard plays an increasingly significant role in getting more eligible people screened for colorectal cancer – from those reluctant to getting screened through invasive procedures such as colonoscopy to those interested in the convenience of a highly sensitive screening test they can complete in the privacy of their own home. As our company surveys continue to reveal, nearly 50 percent of those screened by Cologuard had never before been screened for colorectal cancer.
At the NCCRT annual conference in Bethesda, Maryland, Dec 6-9th, we will present the impact Cologuard has made on CRC screening. We’ll share information about our impressive patient compliance rate (66%), healthcare provider (96%) and patient satisfaction levels (88%), and increasing number of individuals who have taken the test (>750,000 since the test launched in August 2014). We’ll also provide an update on the new scientific studies involving Cologuard published in the past year and the increasing uptake of the test by healthcare providers (> 91,000 to date).
The positive impact that public awareness activities, namely through our Cologuard TV ads, social media and digital media outreach, have had in getting more people screened is something we are proud to share. Dr. Philip Parks, Head of Medical Affairs, will also be attending, and he and I will be meeting with national leaders to discuss how to increase CRC screening awareness. We intend to come away with a renewed commitment to the 80% pledge and new strategies for achieving this critical goal.
Cologuard was approved by the FDA in August 2014 and results from Exact Sciences' prospective 90-site, point-in-time, 10,000-patient pivotal trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2014. Cologuard is included in the American Cancer Society's (2014) colorectal cancer screening guidelines and the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2016). Cologuard is indicated to screen adults of either sex, 50 years or older, who are at average risk for colorectal cancer. Cologuard is not for everyone and is not a replacement for diagnostic colonoscopy or surveillance colonoscopy in high-risk individuals. False positives and false negatives do occur. Any positive test result should be followed by a diagnostic colonoscopy. Following a negative result, patients should continue participating in a screening program at an interval and with a method appropriate for the individual patient. Cologuard performance when used for repeat testing has not been evaluated or established. For more information about Cologuard, visit www.cologuardtest.com. Rx Only.