India-based bioinformatics firm Strand Life Sciences has introduced a new line of liquid biopsy tests STRAND LB to detect traces of cancer from a blood sample.
The highly sensitive test is designed for early and accurate identification of the presence of a tumour, recurrence of the disease and response to therapy.
The test claims to enable early evaluation with low patient discomfort, contrary to the invasive tumour biopsies and radioactive scans.
Strand Life Sciences chairman and managing director Dr Vijay Chandru said: "Liquid biopsy is a paradigm shift that involves a minimally invasive procedure, no radioactive scans, and can detect tumour DNA traces from a simple blood draw.
"However, detecting tumour DNA requires a highly sensitive test capable of detecting one molecule in 1,000.
"Our study on patients spanning a wide variety of cancer types, including lung, colorectal, breast, and bladder cancer, shows that STRAND LB can detect tumour DNA traces in as many as 35% of patients with early stage cancer, going up to 70-90% in patients with locally advanced or metastatic cancer."
The STRAND LB tests were developed in collaboration with Mazumdar Shaw Center for Translational Research (MSCTR) and were validated by the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center (MSMC).
The sensitivity of the test in detecting mutations is expected to allow for the early identification of cancer and treatment with personalised treatment plans.
It is estimated that the test can be used for approximately 30% of lung cancer patients whose biopsy material is not sufficient for the detection of tumour mutations.
The test can also discover traces of the tumour that cannot be detected by the naked eye or imaging scans in cancers such as breast and colorectal.