Newswire (Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 3:31:00 AM CDT, Received: Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 3:41:18 AM CDT)
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The three-in-one blood test was developed by teams at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London and can be used to find patients whom PARP inhibitors such as Lynparza could act most effectively on, and additionally monitor whether a patient is responding adequately to this treatment by checking the DNA in the blood. In the event that treatment is not successful, patients can be moved to an alternative therapy in four to eight weeks. Within this, the drug makes it possible to determine whether ineffective treatments are a result of advanced disease or whether the cancer has evolved to become drug-resistant.
The test opens the door for Lynparza to become a standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer. In a study of the new test, genetic mutations of prostate cancers could be identified for the first time, meaning that the findings could be adapted to target other forms of cancer with other PARP inhibitors.
Our study identifies, for the first time, genetic changes that allow prostate cancer cells to become resistant to the precision medicine olaparib, explained Professor Johann de Bono, Regius Professor of Cancer Research at the ICR and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. From these findings, we were able to develop a powerful, three-in-one test that could in future be used to help doctors select treatment, check whether it is working and monitor the cancer in the longer term. We think it could be used to make clinical decisions about whether a PARP inhibitor is working within as little as four to eight weeks of starting therapy. Not only could the test have a major impact on treatment of prostate cancer, but it could also be adapted to open up the possibility of precision medicine to patients with other types of cancer as well.
ICR Chief Executive Paul Workman added: Blood tests for cancer promise to be truly revolutionary. They are cheap and simple to use, but most importantly, because they arent invasive, they can be employed or applied to routinely monitor patients to spot early if treatment is failing offering patients the best chance of surviving their disease. This test is particularly exciting because it is multi-purpose, designed for use both before and after treatment, and using both the absolute amounts of cancer DNA in the bloodstream and also a readout of the specific mutations within that genetic material. We believe it can usher in a new era of precision medicine for prostate cancer.
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
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