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The DeeP-C Clinical Trial: Dr. Robert Hardi's Perspective

Robert Hardi, M.D. AGAF, CPI is the primary investigator at the DeeP-C study site at Chevy Chase Clinical Research Group. 

Exact Sciences: What are some of the most surprising things you learned from participating in the DeeP-C trial?

Dr. Hardi: I was pleasantly surprised to discover that people are willing to use the stool based test, prepare and mail their samples, largely without a hitch.

Exact Sciences: Many of the DeeP-C trial subjects had never been screened for colon cancer.  What were some of the reasons these patients decided to have their first screening colonoscopy?

Dr. Hardi: Some of the reasons included reaching the age appropriate for screening; the increased dissemination of the facts about colon cancer and its preventability by screening and colonoscopic intervention and in many cases family and peer pressure.

Exact Sciences: As you know, the time you spend with patients is precious and limited, especially in a primary care setting, where often times you have to prioritize what will be discussed during that particular visit.  Why should colon cancer screening be a priority?

Dr. Hardi: All cancer screening is important, especially colon cancer screening. We have good evidence that not only can we detect colon cancer early but we can also detect and remove polyps which may decrease later cancer incidence. There is also good evidence that screening in general reduces death rates.

Exact Sciences: In the next 5 years, what do you envision for research and treatments for colorectal cancer? What do you hope will change?

Dr. Hardi: Non-invasive screening tests, of which Cologuard is just one, will become more precise and gain use.  As screening tools increase, my hope is that more people will get screened and cancer will be prevented and identified earlier. This, coupled with increased use of genetic testing, lifestyle modification and probably more individualized therapy, should lead to markedly decreased colorectal cancer deaths. I don’t know if this will happen in as little as five years, but I do hope it will happen soon.

Topics: Colon Cancer News and Information

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