Bowel cancer screening is resource-intensive – GastroPanel® serves as a tool for endoscopy resource allocation

Screening for bowel cancer will become increasingly common in the coming years. In Finland, screening invitations will be sent to 56-74 year olds by 2031, while screening has already started for 60-70 year olds.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Finland and it is important to invest in prevention and early detection. Symptoms are often mild in the early stages, but the earlier treatments are initiated, the better the prognosis.

Extensive screening requires a lot of health care resources. If screening reveals the need for further investigation, colonoscopy is the preferred option.

However, the resources available for colonoscopy are very limited, and gastrocoscopy uses the same staff and equipment as colonoscopy. The waiting time for patients can be unreasonably long, as in Finland, for example, waiting times for follow-up examinations can be up to months.


“It is therefore relevant to consider how limited healthcare resources could be directed more efficiently. With the GastroPanel® rapid test, we can optimise the use of resources in the first line and target endoscopy to patients who will benefit most.”


Screening for bowel cancer increases the need for endoscopies

As the population ages and colorectal cancers become more common, the need for endoscopy is also increasing.

As the number of colonoscopies has increased dramatically since the introduction of colorectal cancer screening, the use of the GastroPanel® rapid test as a first-line diagnostic tool is particularly sensible. Whereas access to examinations can take up to months, the GastroPanel® test can determine in 20 minutes whether a more extensive endoscopy is needed.

GastroPanel® is a diagnostic finger pretest for patients with upper abdominal discomfort.  The test measures four different biomarkers, three of which, pepsinogen I (PGI), pepsinogen II (PGII) and gastrin-17 (G-17), are derived from gastric mucosal cells.

In addition, the panel includes the determination of the level of antibodies against Helicobacter pylori. By combining these four biomarkers, GastroPanel® provides a more comprehensive picture of gastric mucosal status than any of these biomarkers used alone.

If there is any abnormality in the results, the doctor in charge will refer the patient for further investigations, usually a gastroscopy.

The blood test taken from the fingertip is also patient-friendly. For many patients, the procedure is an exciting and anxiety-inducing procedure that is not pleasant to undergo beforehand. Sometimes there is a need for local anaesthesia or sedation before the procedure.


“There are many benefits to using GastroPanel as a first-line procedure. It reduces healthcare costs, minimises uncomfortable procedures for patients and improves diagnostic procedures for patients with upper abdominal pain.”


GastroPanel® helps target endoscopic resources as a first-line procedure

The effectiveness and efficiency of the GastroPanel® rapid test has been tested in numerous studies.

For example, in a study conducted in Oulu, Finland, the results obtained with GastroPanel® and gastroscopy were in agreement 92.4% of the time. This demonstrates the reliability of the GastroPanel® test in the diagnosis of atrophic gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infection.

The study involved 522 patients from the Oulu University Hospital Stomach Centre. These subjects had initially presented to the hospital for gastric endoscopy. All participants had a blood sample taken for the GastroPanel® test and also underwent gastroscopy.

The study also found that more than 80% of patients did not need a gastroscopy because of a healthy stomach lining. The use of GastroPanel® as a first-line diagnostic tool can significantly reduce unnecessary gastroscopies and bring cost savings, especially in areas with a low or moderate prevalence of atrophic gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infection.


“Recent studies have shown that the biomarkers of the GastroPanel® rapid test, combined with clinical parameters (age, symptoms), can accurately identify patients who would benefit from further endoscopy (2,3).”


By grouping patients according to their GastroPanel® results, healthcare professionals can prioritise endoscopies for those who will benefit most. This can also avoid unnecessary procedures for patients with functional dyspepsia (4).

Gastropanel® can be used both to diagnose Helicobacter infection and to assess the condition of the gastric mucosa.

A study shows that the use of Gastropanel® correlates with the identification of patients who benefit from PPIs (6), which can lead to significant savings and improved treatment targeting.


The new generation of GastroPanel® makes the work of health centres and medical centres more efficient

GastroPanel® is a resource-management tool for both general and occupational physicians to assess the need for follow-up examinations, or gastroscopy. The solution is used in several leading medical centres in Finland and internationally.


Benefits of the GastroPanel® test:

– Patient-friendly: minimally invasive, as the test is taken as a blood sample from the fingertip.

– The results are available  in only after about 20 minutes.

– Provides a comprehensive picture of the gastric mucosa by measuring four key biomarkers.

– Allows more precise control of gastroscopy resources and helps avoid long waiting times.


Want to learn more about the GastroPanel® rapid test?

Contact us and one of our experts will get back to you. The solution is available internationally.




  1. Cavatorta O, Scida S, Miraglia C, Barchi A, Nouvenne A, Leandro G, Meschi T, De’ Angelis GL, Di Mario F. Epidemiology of gastric cancer and risk factors. Acta Biomed. 2018 Dec 17;89(8-S):82-87. doi: 10.23750/abm.v89i8-S.7966. PMID: 30561423; PMCID: PMC6502220.
  2. Storskrubb T, Aro P, Ronkainen J, et al. Serum biomarkers provide an accurate method for diagnosis of atrophic gastritis in a general population: The Kalixanda study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2008;43(12):1448-1455. doi:10.1080/00365520802308083.
  3. Crafa P, Franceschi M, Rodriguez Castro KI, Barchi A, Russo M, Franzoni L, Antico A, Baldassarre G, Panozzo MP, Di Mario F. Functional Dyspesia. Acta Biomed. 2020 Jul 9;91(3):e2020069. doi: 10.23750/abm.v91i3.10150. PMID: 32921764; PMCID: PMC7716988.
  4. Rodriguez K, Franceschi M, Ferronato A, Brozzi L, Antico A, Panozzo MP, Massella A, Pertoldi B, Morini A, Barchi A, Russo M, Crafa P, Franzoni L, Cuoco L, Baldassarre G, Di Mario F. A non-invasive combined strategy to improve the appropriateness of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Acta Biomed. 2022 Aug 31;93(4):e2022210. doi: 10.23750/abm.v93i4.12772. PMID: 36043968; PMCID: PMC9534244.
  5. Di Mario F, Crafa P, Barchi A, Franzoni L, Franceschi M, Russo M, Bricca L, Brozzi L, Rodriguez Castro K, Rugge M. Pepsinogen II in gastritis and Helicobacter pylori infection. Helicobacter. 2022 Apr;27(2):e12872. doi: 10.1111/hel.12872. Epub 2022 Jan 8. PMID: 34997989.
  6. Russo M, Rodriguez-Castro KI, Franceschi M, Ferronato A, Panozzo MP, Brozzi L, Di Mario F, Crafa P, Brandimarte G, Tursi A. Appropriateness of Proton Pump Inhibitor Prescription Evaluated by Using Serological Markers. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 25;24(3):2378. doi: 10.3390/ijms24032378. PMID: 36768710; PMCID: PMC9917011.