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undergo regular surveillance (about 60 percent), compared with those who do not (about 30 percent), according to Exact.
Currently, the most common methods healthcare providers use to monitor patients at high risk for developing HCC are ultrasound and blood tests that measure the serum biomarker alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Lidgard said. Most screening guidelines recommend patients in this category repeat testing every six to 12 months, “yet most at-risk patients do not adhere to the surveillance,” he said.
Moreover, while AFP tests are relatively inexpensive, they have a reputation for “poor performance in early detection of HCC,” according to analysis by Puneet Souda and Mitchell Kapoor of Leerink Partners.
Souda and Kapoor said that the early detection of HCC and surveillance of patients who are at risk for developing the disease represent a $1.3 billion potential market for Exact and other screening test developers.