What is GASTROClear?

GASTROClear, originally developed in Singapore, stands as the world's first molecular blood test designed for the early detection of stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer. Demonstrating up to 86% sensitivity and up to 89% specificity in an asymptomatic average-risk population, GASTROClear is effective in identifying all stages of stomach cancer.

What sets GASTROClear apart is its non-invasive approach and precision in identifying stomach cancer in its early stages — even in the absence of symptoms. GASTROClear is a valuable alternative for individuals who may not like gastroscopy due to the more invasive nature of the latter test. General Practitioners (GP) can utilise GASTROClear to evaluate a person’s risk for stomach cancer and determine if a gastroscopy needs to be done.

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Is the GASTROClear test suitable for me? What is stomach cancer and its symptoms?

Stomach cancer is defined by the growth of cancerous cells or tumours in the stomach lining. In Singapore, it ranks as the seventh most prevalent cancer in men and the ninth in women. This condition leads to more than 300 deaths related to cancer each year in the country.

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You should consult a GP if you have several of the following symptoms of stomach cancer:

  • Feeling full despite eating only a little
  • Poor appetite
  • Post-meal bloating
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Burning sensation in the chest (stomach acid reflux/heartburn)
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexpected weight loss

People who exhibit these risk factors are also recommended to do a GASTROClear test:

  • Men and women above the age of 40
  • A family history of stomach cancer (parents, siblings, grandparents)
  • A personal history of Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) infection, chronic stomach inflammation or gastritis
  • A diet full of fried, smoked, salty, processed, or pickled foods and food containing nitrites and nitrates (often found in cured meats)
  • Rare consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Frequent alcohol consumption
  • Heavy smoking

GP Dr. Charis Au will provide you with personalised screening advice based on your age, risk factors, and lifestyle. 

How can GASTROClear be used to diagnose stomach cancer?

  • Your GP will draw 5 ml of your blood and send it to a lab certified by the Ministry of Health Singapore (MOH).
  • A panel of 12 microRNA biomarkers will be analysed from the blood draw. MicroRNA, or miRNA, is a family of molecules that regulate gene expression, controlling how cells produce varying amounts of proteins. In cancer cells, mutations can damage microRNA genes.
  • These microRNAs are then converted into a risk score using a clinically validated proprietary algorithm. Upon completion of the test,  your risk of stomach cancer will be categorised into low, intermediate, or high based on the score.
  • Finally, you can expect to receive your report within 7 to 10 working days. Your GP will interpret the results and hand out tailored follow-up recommendations according to the risk group that you belong to.
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How accurate is a GASTROClear test?

GASTROClear is an excellent preliminary screening tool for stomach cancer. It has higher accuracy than traditional cancer markers, correctly identifying 87.5% of stage I and 89.5% of stage II stomach cancers in recent clinical trials. Moreover, research indicates that GASTROClear exhibits 20% greater accuracy compared to other blood-based biomarker tests for stomach cancer.

Although receiving an intermediate or high-risk score suggests the presence of cancer cells in your body, that does not necessarily mean that you have stomach cancer. Further testing, such as a gastroscopy (upper gastrointestinal tract examination) and tissue biopsy, will typically be recommended to confirm the diagnosis.

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What are the benefits of GASTROClear?

High accuracy: Excels as a preliminary screening tool for stomach cancer. GASTROClear has better accuracy than traditional cancer marker tests, such as blood-based biomarker tests.
Minimally invasive: More comfortable than gastroscopy as GASTROClear only requires 1 draw of blood (5ml). Although gastroscopy still stands as the most sensitive test for stomach cancer, the GASTROClear blood test offers a less invasive option for patients seeking early-stage stomach cancer detection, especially those hesitant about undergoing a gastroscopy.
Cost-effective: Opting for GASTROClear first can be beneficial since it is more affordable than certain tests like gastroscopy. Should GASTROClear test results be negative, patients would not have incurred unnecessary expenditure on more expensive tests.

Why is it important to get screened by GASTROClear regularly?

Most people suffering from the early stages of stomach cancer display no symptoms. With early detection, stomach cancer patients have a 70% higher likelihood of surviving more than 5 years. Timely and efficient screening can correctly identify cancer cells; stomach cancer is treatable when detected early.

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What is the recommended frequency for GASTROClear testing?

Based on your GASTROClear test score, age, and specific risk factors such as diet and lifestyle, it may be advisable to undergo a repeat GASTROClear test.

Level of risk for stomach cancerRecommended GASTROClear test frequency
Low risk (score <40):Repeat the test after 1 year
Intermediate risk (score between 40 - 50)Repeat the test after 6 months, and your GP may recommend a gastroscopy, depending on your current health condition and other risk factors.
High risk (score > 50)You will be advised to proceed with a gastroscopy.

What is the cost of GASTROClear in Singapore?

At Assure Family Clinic, the GASTROClear test costs roughly $250 before GST. 


Fortunately, stomach cancer is usually treatable in its early stages — making early detection important to improve your prognosis. The GASTROClear test is a non-invasive, blood-based test, which serves as an excellent preliminary screening tool for all stages of stomach cancer (even early-stage stomach cancers).

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Visit Assure Family Clinic

Getting screened for stomach cancer will not only give you peace of mind but it can also potentially improve your prognosis by facilitating the detection of early-stage stomach cancer.

If you are suffering from symptoms of stomach cancer or have one or more risk factors for stomach cancer,  book a GASTROClear screening with Assure Family Clinic’s GP Dr Charis Au. Should you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to our approachable staff, who are more than willing to address any further inquiries you might have.

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  1. About GASTROClear. Gastroclear. Accessed January 25, 2024.
  2. Tan C. Blood test for early detection of gastric cancer being evaluated for use in primary healthcare. The Straits Times.
    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/blood-test-for-early-detection-of-gastric-cancer-being-evaluated-for-use-in-primary. Published October 23, 2020. Accessed January 25, 2024.

Activities and Interests

Personal interests: Yoga, cooking & going to the beach 

Besides practising holistic medicine, Dr Au also walks the talk by leading a healthy lifestyle. She is a yoga enthusiast who leverages her nutritional knowledge to whip up wholesome meals. In her free time, Dr Au enjoys spending time with her active toddler, family, and friends at beautiful beaches and the great outdoors too.

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