Karolinska Institutet and University Hospital have shown that a simple blood test can predict breast cancer patients response to therapy, how long treatment will be effective and survival. The results are being presented at the IMPAKT scientific conference in Brussels, May 2-4. The analysis measures growth rate and this is the first time ever that one test have documented this by analysing a blood sample.
The study (called TEX) included 287 women with breast cancer who were treated with two different kinds of chemotherapy. The test, DiviTum(TM), analyses cell-division rate in blood taken from patients before treatment initiation. Regardless of therapy, DiviTum(TM) predicted which groups of patients who would respond to treatment or not. Patients with tumours that expressed a low DiviTum(TM)-value lived significantly longer, 38 months, compared to 21 months for those with high values.
“By analysing the growth rate in a blood sample we can receive new, valuable clinical information on patient risk and ability to respond to treatment. With DiviTum(TM) there is an opportunity to identify patients who are at high risk for progression, and this group possibly requires more intense or different treatment”, says Thomas Hatschek, lead investigator for the study and Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet.
“We are keen to look at more possibilities to use DiviTum(TM) and we will test whether the technology also can be used initially, after starting therapy, to predict and monitor the effect of a chosen treatment. This would at an early stage be a tool to determine whether treatment is appropriate or not. The fact that it only takes a blood sample is an advantage because other methods require tumour tissue”, says Thomas Hatschek.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, contributing to improved diagnostics and monitoring of cancer patients. It’s very positive that the information DiviTum(TM) provides can give a more comprehensive picture of the disease”, says Anders Rylander, CEO Biovica.