Blood sample analysis

Development of a simple blood test for screening

The ColoSTAT™ technology has the potential to become the new, first step screening test for people, who for personal, cultural or clinical reasons, elect to not participate in the existing screening programs for colorectal cancer.

ColoSTAT™ is designed to be a simple blood test:

  • Cost effective
  • Minimally invasive
  • Another option for those currently unwilling to screen
  • Easily run by laboratories, with minimal training or need for new infrastructure
  • Comparable to, if not better than, the current FIT tests in detecting early stage colorectal cancers

The in-development ColoSTAT™ blood test is anticipated to achieve greater patient participation and compliance than faecal tests. It could also be used as a triage for FOBT/FIT positive results to prioritise urgency for colonoscopy follow-up.

The ColoSTAT™ technology

The proposed ColoSTAT™ blood test has the potential to efficiently detect colorectal cancer at all stages, including the early ones. The test is to be an immunoassay – a biochemical test that measures the presence or concentration of multiple protein biomarkers for colorectal cancer.

This search for suitable biomarkers began in 2003. Since then, CSIRO scientists have identified 68 proteins reported to vary in concentration in the blood of patients with and without colorectal cancer.

Assisted by funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, CSIRO evaluated these 68 biomarkers across five studies and reduced it to a lead panel of just a few. The studies found that when certain combinations of these protein biomarkers are measured in a blood sample, and their concentrations weighted using an algorithm, a colorectal cancer risk score can be determined. It is this patented process that forms the basis for the ColoSTAT™ technology.

Rhythm Biosciences is now working towards turning this technology into an in-market product.

Taking Australian technology to the world

Rhythm Biosciences is focussed on commercialising this Australian technology to reduce the impact of colorectal cancer globally. From research labs into an in-market product, this potentially life-saving technology could benefit people globally.

The proposed ColoSTAT™ patient experience

When using ColoSTAT™, the proposed experience for the patient will be the same as for a standard blood test. The intended steps from clinical prescription of a test to delivery of the final result to the patient are outlined below.


Test Request

Recommended for ColoSTAT™ test by clinician


Patient Sample

Patient goes to a standard blood collection site to give a sample

(The lab would subsequently prepare the sample and test using ColoSTAT™ before reviewing and returning the result to the clinician)

Test Results

Patient receives result via clinician, who advises if colonoscopy is necessary

ColoSTAT™: A proposed simple blood test to save lives

ColoSTAT™ has the potential to reduce the impact of colorectal cancer globally. To achieve the realisation of a cost effective, simple blood test, easily adoptable into current clinical practices with minimal training, is a driving force for the next stage of development.

ColoSTAT™ is designed to be minimally invasive, cost effective and provide another option for those currently unwilling or unable to participate in current screening programs, estimated to be over 100 million people just in Australia, Europe and the United States.

If patient participation can be improved, and early detection achieved as comparable to, if not better than, the standard faecal test, there is an opportunity to save lives and reduce the significant impact this disease.