A deadly cancer, yet a preventable one. Colorectal cancer is curable when it is detected early. 

Celtic MEDICAL is developing an easy, non-invasive blood test to identify patients with colorectal cancer including patients in an early stage of the disease. The benefits of this test will be to improve early detection, improve compliance in patients that do not undergo the FIT test and to reduce the burden of excessive colonoscopies on the healthcare system.

celtic icon.png
ESTIMATED Number of deaths in 2020 | Source: WHO
Schermafbeelding 2021-02-09 om 11.53.10.
With 1.8 million new patients and 900,000 deaths each year worldwide, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer related death.
Regular, systematic and early screening of asymptomatic at-risk populations is crucial to identify the disease early and treat it in time. Due to the effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening, many countries have implemented screening programmes that involve the faecal immunological test (FIT), a stool based test to detect high risk patients. Unfortunately the FIT tests have a low compliance rate 30-70% and are false-positive in over 50% of patients.
If a patient receives a positive FIT test they are recommend a follow up colonoscopy. With a false-positive rate of >50% this means a large proportion of patients are sent for an invasive colonoscopy procedure, experience unrest and burden the healthcare system all which could have been spared.
There is an urgent need for a reliable, broadly acceptable and affordable test for the early detection of colorectal cancer.

Early detection increases the chance of survival*

* chance of being alive 5 years after diagnosis

if diagnosed at the precancerous stage (polyps)

if diagnosed in the early stage of cancer

if diagnosed in the advanced stage of cancer


Our focus is to develop a liquid biopsy test for early detection of colorectal cancer



Researchers at the University of Bologna have developed a liquid biopsy test that can detect colorectal cancer at early disease stages.


The test is based on the gene expression profile of four genes (the CELTIC panel).


In the first validation studies, the test demonstrated a clinical sensitivity and specificity of 87% and 78% respectively, when comparing healthy individuals vs. low risk disease patients. 84% of patients with false positive FIT tests were identified.


The CELTIC test panel will initially be developed as a follow-up to the FIT test, to be followed by challenging the position of the FIT test as the primary screening method.

The CELTiC test is original and innovative because:

  • it is based on a simple blood sample

  • it only needs small quantities, about 1 ml

  • the sampling can take place without fasting

  • the analysis is carried out without further processing of the sample

  • it is a panel of 4 mRNA (CEACAM6, LGALS4, TSPAN8 and COL1A2) specific markers of colorectal cancer.



celtic icon.png

Early, effective detection of colorectal cancer

As a next step in product development, a European large-scale, multicenter trial is being prepared to further validate and confirm the performance of the CELTIC panel. The trial will be led by UMC Amsterdam in collaboration with the University of Bologna. Depending on the chosen trial size other institutes may also be asked to participate.

Jack van Lint 


CEO Celtic Medical


To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom