MDxHealth SA, an international healthcare company, developing and offering molecular diagnostic tests to personalize the diagnosis and treatment of urologic cancer, has announced promising research results with a new liquid biopsy test in development. Data from this study, published in The Prostate, January 12, 2018 indicate that the test has the potential to help guide personalized treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients.
Most patients with advanced prostate cancer (PCa) will eventually develop CRPC, which accounted for over 26,000 deaths in the US during 2016 alone. Treatment options for CRPC have improved, with a combination of chemotherapy, androgen receptor (AR)-targeted therapeutics, and radiopharmaceuticals now available, however mortality remains high. Importantly, monitoring the patient's response to treatment is usually evaluated 3-4 months after treatment is initiated, and remains largely dependent on PSA measurements, bone scintigraphy and other imaging modalities. This delay in measuring therapeutic response could limit the opportunity to adjust the treatment regimen at an early stage, when there is the best chance for cure. There are currently no biomarkers available to assess treatment response at an earlier stage.
MDxHealth's PCR-based, non-invasive blood test was developed to measure the hypermethylation levels of two biomarkers (GSTP1 and APC) in plasma cell-free DNA. The results of the forementioned prospective study, with 47 CRPC patients and 30 controls, indicate that the baseline value of the biomarkers, prior to treatment, is prognostic for overall survival. In addition, the subsequent variations of biomarker levels during treatment could help identify non-responders, which may enable improved personalized treatment of CRPC patients in the future.
Prof. Dr. Jack Schalken, principle investigator and Research Director, of Radboud University Medical Center, Department of Urology, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, said: "One of the major unmet needs in the treatment of patients with castrate resistant prostate cancer is to asses prognosis and response to systemic therapy. A quantitative test that can provide real-time insights into a patient's therapeutic response, which may allow for early intervention with an alternative treatment regimen, could ultimately improve survival."
Dr. Jan Groen, CEO of MDxHealth, commented "Given the severe mortality rate associated with CRPC, understanding a patient's prognosis and early response to the prescribed treatment regimen, is crititically important. With an estimated 233,000 CRPC patients undergoing treatment each year, the clinical need for a precision diagnostic test is quite significant. Our test gives us the opportunity to engage with pharmaceutical companies to support their drug development programs and to monitor patients enrolled in their clinical trials."