US-based Genomic Health has reported positive results from its first two feasibility trials evaluating multiple technologies.
The trials include next-generation sequencing for their ability to detect and characterise the presence of bladder cancer DNA in urine and breast cancer DNA in blood.
Genomic Health is currently pursuing the development of standardised non-invasive tests that can provide an ongoing evaluation of a patient’s cancer to get quantitative real-time insights.
This can inform treatment planning throughout the cancer patient’s journey, from diagnosis to treatment selection and monitoring.
Genomic Health president Kim Popovits said: "The ability to determine the presence of disease or the development of drug resistance holds huge promise for individualising care at multiple points throughout a cancer patient’s journey."
Solid tumours that originate in internal organs such as the breast or bladder often release DNA and tumour cells into the bloodstream or urine.
A new course of treatment may be appropriate when the presence of tumour-derived DNA in blood is high or increases over time.
In both trials, researchers used the company’s NGS and PCR-based technologies and methods to detect tumour DNA and tumour DNA alterations in urine and blood.
The company studied three major alteration types: DNA copy number aberrations (CNAs), DNA methylation variations and DNA single nucleotide variants (SNVs), in order to identify the most accurate and efficient approach to detect cancer presence in a tumour sample.
Genomic Health executive vice-president of research and development Steven Shak said: "Liquid biopsies have the potential to successfully measure the presence and burden of cancer, as well as the sensitivity or resistance to specific drugs."
Based on the results, Genomic Health is conducting larger scale proof-of-concept trials investigating analytical methods that would allow accurate and scalable genomic analysis of liquid biopsies in breast and bladder cancer patients.
The company intends to introduce its first liquid biopsy-based test in 2016.