Belgium-based molecular diagnostics maker MDxHealth has developed a new non-invasive liquid biopsy test designed to guide personalised treatment for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

The new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based blood test measures the hypermethylation levels of GSTP1 and APC in plasma cell-free DNA.

Existing methods for monitoring patients’ responses to treatment such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurements, bone scintigraphy and various imaging modalities are conducted within three to four months.

This delay is believed to limit the chances for treatment adjustment during initial stages. In addition, no biomarkers are available to assess the response early.

“Understanding a patient’s prognosis and early response to the prescribed treatment regimen is critically important.”

MDxHealth CEO Dr Jan Groen said: “Given the severe mortality rate associated with CRPC, understanding a patient’s prognosis and early response to the prescribed treatment regimen is critically important.

“With an estimated 233,000 CRPC patients undergoing treatment each year, the clinical need for a precision diagnostic test is quite significant.

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“Our test gives us the opportunity to engage with pharmaceutical companies to support their drug development programmes and to monitor patients enrolled in their clinical trials.”

During a study conducted by MDxHealth in 47 CRPC patients, the new test is reported to have demonstrated the potential to predict overall survival (OS).

Subsequent variations of biomarker levels during therapy could aid in the identification of individuals who might not respond, leading to further opportunities for improved personalised treatments.