NeoGenomics has introduced a Fluorescent in Situ Hybridization (FISH) assay, designed for monitoring patients with Barrett's Esophagus (BE), in the US.

The NeoSITE Barrett’s Esophagus FISH test uses brushings samples, collected from a larger area of the esophagus, to detect the presence of esophageal cancer or high grade dysplasia.

In addition, the test enables pathologists and clinicians to monitor BE patients and make more informed treatment decisions.

Study conducted on the assay showed initial sensitivity of 86% and specificity of 67%, when the company’s proprietary algorithms were used to assist with interpreting the FISH results.

In addition, sensitivity and specificity levels were even higher when brushing samples were obtained from nodules rather than pan-brushing, claims the company.

NeoGenomics research and development director and chief medical officer Dr Maher Albitar said improving surveillance in BE patients results in better and potentially earlier treatment for those patients who are likely to progress to esophageal cancer.

"Our unique approach of performing FISH testing on brushing samples provides a reliable and an objective means of detecting high grade dysplasia and cancer," Albitar added.

"We believe it will enable a major step forward in BE surveillance programs as it allows clinicians to more easily and frequently tests their BE patients and track quantitative findings over the monitoring period."