Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic study blood-based lung cancer detection

Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic study blood-based lung cancer detection

By Alex Moe, WisBusiness.com

ExactSciences_lab-wsjA new study from Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic released by the American Association of Cancer Research shows a new blood-based test could make detecting lung cancer a more reliable process.

“These results reveal an opportunity to detect lung cancer from a simple blood draw,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences, which is currently marketing a home colon cancer test. “Our collaboration with Mayo Clinic is efficiently identifying biomarkers for additional cancer applications on the same technology platform as Cologuard.”

AACR released the abstract of the study, which involved multiple rounds of testing on almost 400 patients, on Wednesday.

Of the 398 patients, 311 were controls, meaning they were considered to be “apparently healthy smokers,” with no cancer. The other 87 patients had cases of lung cancer.

There were two groups in the study, balanced by age and gender. Group 1 had 64 cases of cancer and 231 controls, while Group 2 had 23 cases and 80 controls.

Scientists for Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic used a process called “whole methylome sequencing” to find methylated DNA markers, or MDMs, signaling lung cancer in tissue.

Using these MDMs, they could locate lung cancer cells in patients with a high degree of certainty; sensitivity to the cancer cells was found to be as high 96 percent at a specificity of up to 94 percent, meaning the false positive rate is at least 6 percent.

Current lung cancer screening tests, which are approved for smokers using CT chest scanning, has a sensitivity of over 90 percent, but specificity can be less than 75 percent, meaning false positives show up in over 25 percent of all patients scanned. Read more …