Biocept has initiated the full commercial launch of CNSide, its cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) assay that helps identify and manage the treatment of metastatic cancers involving the central nervous system (CNS).

First introduced in January last year, CNSide is based on Biocept’s proprietary quantitative tumour cell capture and detection method coupled with tests to detect actionable molecular treatment targets.

It provides a timely and precise approach to diagnose disease, detect actionable biomarkers and evaluate therapy response, which could have an effect on life expectancy and quality of life for patients.

CSF cytology is the existing standard of care but it has reduced sensitivity in identifying brain metastasis and analysing therapy response, as well as not delivering quantitative results. The CNSide assay addresses these unmet clinical needs.

Biocept senior vice-president, chief medical officer and medical director Michael Dugan said: “Simply stated, patients diagnosed with advanced cancer and their physicians need better tools to diagnose brain metastasis earlier, more accurately and to assess response to therapy in a timely, quantitative fashion so that patients can benefit from the remarkable advances in cancer therapies available today.

“These patients do not have time to waste on inaccurate or uncertain diagnostic tests.”

Estimates show that, depending on the type of cancer, 10% to 30% of cancer patients develop brain or spinal cord metastasis.

In addition to low overall survival expectancy, many patients are diagnosed too late to carry out therapeutic intervention.

However, novel targeted therapies for lung and breast cancer with intracranial metastasis could prolong survival for a year or more while resolving symptoms and improving quality of life significantly.

According to results from pilot studies, in cases of suspected CNS involvement, tumour cells were identified approximately 80% of the time when the CNSide assay was used, versus approximately 50% of the time using CSF cytology.

In 2019, Biocept announced the commercial availability of its Target Selector pan-TRK assay to detect TRK proteins.