News ID: 191229
Published: 1017 GMT April 21, 2017

Blood test offers faster treatment for lung cancer

Blood test offers faster treatment for lung cancer

Researchers have developed a new blood test to identify a specific gene mutation in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, for better treatment options.

The new blood test can accurately and quickly identify actionable mutations linked with NSCLC, UPI wrote.

Actionable mutations are vital to the development and progression of tumors.

The test can be performed quickly, with 94 percent of results available within 72 hours of blood draw, compared to tissue-based testing that can take weeks for results, delaying treatment.

Certain genetic mutations can be used to identify patients who may be sensitive or resistant to a certain type of cancer treatment, such as epidermal growth factor, or EGFR, mutations result in sensitivity to drugs that are EGFR inhibitors.

The new blood test utilizes a highly sensitive gene mutation detection method that is based on partitioning DNA into droplets to detect specific circulating tumor DNA mutations and RNA variants in the blood.

Gary A. Pestano, vice president of development and operations at Biodesix, Inc., the company that created the test, said, "This study is critical because it is the first to demonstrate the uptake of blood-based testing for actionable mutations in the non-hospital [community] setting.

"Physicians and patients in a community setting may not have easy access to a large hospital or other diagnosis/treatment facility. This assay provides results within 72 hours from sample receipt."

Researchers tested more than 1,600 blood samples and found high sensitivity and specificity for detecting each type of mutation and in most cases, the blood test and biopsies showed the same results.

Hestia Mellert, director of molecular development at Biodesix, said, "These data highlight the adoption of mutation testing by the lung cancer community and demonstrate the utility of a centralized laboratory for the evaluation of actionable mutations from blood.

"Physicians in remote locations may now have greater and more rapid access to this critical patient information."

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