Scientists from the Cancer Biomarkers laboratory team of the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK have carried out research to demonstrate the use of a quick genetic test for the targeted treatment of prostate cancer.
The test is designed to identify genomic errors that disrupt the ability of cancer cells to repair their broken DNA, making them sensitive to certain specialised drugs.
Genomic sequencing is being used to match patients to clinical trials of targeted drugs, which are most likely to work depending on the specific genetic characteristics of an individual tumour.
Existing systems that are used to carry out genomic sequencing are reported to be costly compared to this new inexpensive test.
The researchers used the test on 110 tumour samples to match men with advanced prostate cancer to a trial evaluating olaparib.
They observed similar accuracy to current standard genomic tests and it was found that the test was able to match even during the presence of few tumour cells in the samples.
“We have shown that it is possible to match men with advanced prostate cancer to the most appropriate clinical trials using a faster, less expensive method than the one generally used.”
ICR Cancer Research professor Johann de Bono said: “Being able to identify patients who would benefit from targeted therapies is very important in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
“With this study, we have shown that it is possible to match men with advanced prostate cancer to the most appropriate clinical trials using a faster, less expensive method than the one generally used.
“It has similar accuracy and could be used more routinely in patient care.”
Various organisations such as Prostate Cancer UK, Movember, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, and Cancer Research UK have funded the research.