Germany-based life sciences company VolitionRx has initiated a study with the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) to assess VolitionRx's NuQ blood tests to detect pancreatic cancer.
The study follows last year's preliminary studies for pancreatic cancer which is said to have reported positive results demonstrating a 92% detection rate of pancreatic cancer cases at 100% specificity using a panel of four NuQ biomarker assays and the classical CA19-9 cancer biomarker.
A second study with Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen in Denmark has exhibited the ability of a panel of two NuQ biomarker assays and the existing cancer marker carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA) in an age and gender adjusted panel to detect 95% of pancreatic cancers with an 84% specificity.
VolitionRx CEO Cameron Reynolds said: "VolitionRx plans to launch its first commercial product, a blood test for colorectal cancer, later this year.
"Because our two preliminary trials for pancreatic cancer have produced such outstanding results, we anticipate this will be followed soon after by a NuQ panel test for pancreatic cancer.
"This trial with DKFZ allows us to expand our analysis very quickly, with results expected by the end of the year, in a large sample set with a world class institution."
The NuQ blood tests are based on biomarker assays that can detect fragments of chromosomes, called nucleosomes, circulating in the blood and assess them for epigenetic modifications that is indicative of a cancerous development.
VolitionRx' pancreatic blood test aims at addressing the requirement of an early screening of patients afflicted with pancreatic cancer which is said to claim lives owing to a late diagnosis and its aggressive nature bringing the five-year survival rate for this cancer to 7.7%.
Image: Micrographs contrasting normal pancreas and pancreatic carcinoma. Photo: courtesy of Palladin_expression_neoplasia.