Cancer diagnostics developer VolitionRx has reported positive preliminary results from a proof of concept clinical study of its Nu.Q assays to detect high-grade prostate cancer.
Nu.Q involves a series of blood tests to identify ‘very early’ nucleosomic markers of cancer, before the spread of the disease.
A panel of five assays with one prostate-specific antigen (PSA), two Nu.Q assays and two inflammatory biomarkers, was evaluated during the study.
Data showed that the panel detected 94% of high-grade prostate cancers requiring therapy, with 88% specificity, compared to 33% identified using PSA alone.
Volition chief scientific officer Jake Micallef said: “Based on this data, we believe that this test could assist clinicians in more accurate patient selection for prostate biopsy and treatment and substantially reduce the amount of unnecessary procedures in men with low-grade tumours or no tumour.”
Blood samples for the study were obtained from men referred for prostate biopsy in three Belgian hospitals.
The men were grouped by biopsy findings – no cancer, low-grade cancer or high-grade cancer, and the samples were analysed using the five assay panel.
Findings indicate that the assays may provide better risk stratification for men with actual or suspected prostate cancer. This could help in improved patient management and lower unnecessary biopsies.
Volition intends to validate these results in independent larger clinical trials, with plans to commercially introduce the Nu.Q assay products next year.
Volition CEO Cameron Reynolds said: “This small trial is important because it helps demonstrate once more the potential breadth of our technology.
“If these results are validated in larger trials, they will present a potentially significant new market opportunity.”