Source: Lawson Health Research Institute
Summary: An international collaborative study is one of the first to demonstrate that a blood test can predict how patients with advanced prostate cancer will respond to specific treatments, leading to improved survival.
The study used a liquid biopsy test developed by molecular diagnostics company Epic Sciences that examines circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in blood samples from patients with advanced prostate cancer who are deciding whether to switch from hormone-targeting therapy to chemotherapy. CTCs are cancer cells that leave a tumour, enter the bloodstream and invade other parts of the body, causing the spread of cancer. An international collaborative study between Lawson Health Research Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Royal Marsden and Epic Sciences is one of the first to demonstrate that a blood test can predict how patients with advanced prostate cancer will respond to specific treatments, leading to improved survival. The study findings were published in the journal JAMA Oncology.
Research participants included 142 patients with advanced prostate cancer. The patients had already undergone at least one round of hormone-targeting therapy without success and were working with their oncologist to decide whether to switch to a different hormone-targeting therapy or to chemotherapy as their next line of treatment. Hormone-targeting therapies like ARS inhibitors work by slowing or stopping the growth of cancers that use hormones to grow. Prostate cancer growth relies on hormones called androgens, which include testosterone. Androgen deprivation therapy like ARS inhibitors blocks the production of male hormones to treat the recurrence or spread of prostate cancer. Through Epic Sciences’ partnership with Genomic Health, the CTC blood test is now commercially available in the United States as the Oncotype DX AR-V7 Nucleus Detect.
Scientist, Dr. Alison Allan said, “The study focused on a critical decision point when patients and their oncologists are choosing what therapy to pursue next,” and further added, We are addressing a critical unmet need by validating that a blood test or liquid biopsy can be used to select a therapy most likely to extend a patient’s life.”
More Information: Howard I. Scher et al, “Assessment of the Validity of Nuclear-Localized Androgen Receptor Splice Variant 7 in Circulating Tumor Cells as a Predictive Biomarker for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer”, JAMA Oncology (2018). DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.1621