A new blood test which could target specific gene mutations, prepared at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, is important to help find a personalized treatment in any disease case. The test is also used to monitor DNA in the blood after treatment started.
This offers the necessary information to evaluate the efficiency of the treatment and potentially make modifications if needed. Prof Johann de Bono is the leader of the medical research team in London. “Not only could the test have a major impact on treatment of prostate cancer, but it could also be adapted to open up the possibility of precision medicine to patients with other types of cancer as well,” he said.
The Institute of Cancer Research in London
The test is intended to work with the treatment with Parp inhibitors as olaparib, which block an enzyme used by cancer cells. When Parp is disabled, the cells die. Until now, two basic possibly situations were known: some patients respond to the drugs for years; instead, others fail to respond at an early stage or develop resistant cancer. During test, Patients whose cancer DNA blood levels were lowered by olaparib survived an average of 17 months. Prof Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, appreciated that “Blood tests for cancer promise to be truly revolutionary. They are cheap and simple to use, but most importantly, because they aren’t invasive, they can be employed or applied to routinely monitor patients to spot early if treatment is failing – offering patients the best chance of surviving their disease.” Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK men.