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Life sciences company Labcorp has launched a new test to measure Lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3) expression levels by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in tumour tissue of people with skin cancer.

The LAG-3-IHC assay, which is claimed to have shown a demonstrable clinical advantage in patients suffering from melanoma, is available for use in clinical studies and the treatment of patients.

Labcorp senior vice-president and oncology head Prasanth Reddy said: “Our goal is to provide diagnostic solutions that can help guide the clinical application of new cancer treatments, improving the lives of those living with cancer.

“The LAG-3 IHC assay provides physicians with actionable information to evaluate the best treatment options, including newly approved treatments and clinical trials, for their patients.”  

The assay was developed by Labcorp Drug Development for use in a clinical trial that is studying dual checkpoint inhibitors, including LAG-3 immunotherapy.

Evaluation of LAG-3 status in tumours, as well as the correlation between expression level and response to LAG-3 immunotherapy, can be provided by the assay.

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Furthermore, the test is being used in other ongoing clinical studies analysing the clinical response to LAG-3-targetted cancer therapies.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. Although melanoma is one of the rarer types of cancer, it carries a higher risk of spreading to other parts of the body.

Changes in an existing mole’s appearance are among the first signs of melanoma. The only approach to diagnose melanoma is tissue biopsy, which can be performed in most healthcare settings.

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave approval to Labcorp’s Seasonal Respiratory Virus RT-PCR DTC Test for use without prescription to detect influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2.

This approval will allow people with Covid-19 symptoms to purchase the test without the need for a prescription.