Researchers continue to look for an effective tool that can be used for the early detection of cancer and to track the effectiveness of treatment. Now, one company reports that by pairing its liquid biopsy analyzer tool with another company’s genetic data analysis tool, the resulting tests proved to be nearly 100% accurate. This is another step in using blood tests to help guide personalized medicine for lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma patients.
In a press release prior to the Fifth AACR-IASLC International Joint Conference held earlier this month in San Diego, Biocept, Inc, reports when it paired the Target Selector ctDNA lung cancer assays with the Thermo Fisher QuantStudio5 (QS5) real-time PCR instrument results of the detection of key lung cancer mutations resulted in “more than 99% sensitivity and more than 99% specificity.”
“The ability to rapidly and accurately assess the molecular status of a patient‘s tumor using a simple blood draw can be a critical factor in the selection of individualized targeted therapy,” said Biocept’s Senior Vice President and Senior Medical Director Veena Singh, MD. “Our tests can further provide for the monitoring of response to therapy over time without invasive tissue biopsies that can be difficult to perform in patients diagnosed with cancer.”
The tests targeted EGFR, KRAS and BRAF mutations that have been shown to be present in lung cancer and in some pleural mesothelioma tumors as well. According to some reports, mutations of the KRAS gene (Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) are found in 20 to 25 percent of lung cancers. The EGFR gene is overexpressed in more than 50% of pleural mesothelioma patients, and in approximately 15% of lung cancer patients, and is one of the primary targets for bringing personalized care to cancer patients.
With the advent of personalized therapies that target specific biomarkers, ensuring that effective tools are available to quickly and easily identify treatable mesothelioma markers is critical. Personalized cancer treatment optimizes the potential for success.
Often, lung cancer and mesothelioma patients must undergo invasive and painful biopsies to extract diseased tissue for diagnosis. Tissue biopsy tests can take up to 10 days to get a result leaving patients worried and missing out on treatment. However, with just a blood sample, this partnership could bring effective treatments to cancer patients in a shorter time.
Pleural mesothelioma, caused by exposure to airborne asbestos fibers, is an incurable cancer involving the lining of the lung. Nearly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. There is no cure for the cancer.