Germany-based molecular diagnostic company Sysmex Inostics has launched the OncoBEAM RAS CRC test in Italy to assist oncologists in making therapeutic decisions during tissue biopsies.

Centro di Ricerche Oncologiche di Mercogliano (CROM) in Naples was the first centre to have adopted the OncoBEAM RAS test.

Jointly developed by Sysmex Inostics and Merck, the OncoBEAM RAS CRC test determines the RAS mutation status using blood samples.

"The OncoBEAM CRC RAS test can save time, compared with current tissue-based RAS testing."

Assessing of the RAS mutation status in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has demonstrated the possibility of an improved outcome by anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody therapies.

CROM pharmacogenomics laboratory director Professor Nicola Normanno said: "In mCRC, RAS is known to be a key biomarker to predict how well mCRC patients may respond to particular treatments, making it important to know their RAS status as early as possible.

"The OncoBEAM CRC RAS test can save time, compared with current tissue-based RAS testing.

"The liquid biopsy test can also be used as an alternative if tissue for testing is not available."

The test involves a simple method to detect the RAS mutation status of tumours requiring a single blood-draw.

It acts as an alternative to tissue biopsies or other surgical procedures, and can be performed in absence of tumour tissue.

Recent data has displayed that the OncoBEAM RAS CRC can be used to determine the suitability of patients for anti-EGFR therapies, such as Cetuximab.

The test which features 34 KRAS and NRAS mutations aligned to the recommendations of the national comprehensive cancer network (NCCN), European society for medical oncology (ESMO), as well as European Medicines Agency (EMA) guidelines to determine the RAS mutation status before a treatment.