A blood test could influence treatment choices for prostate cancer.
Scientists have developed a simple three-in-one blood test they believe could transform treatment of advanced prostate cancer, helping to extend or save lives.
The test, developed by researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London and the Royal Marsden NHS foundation trust, picks out men suitable for treatment with olaparib, part of a revolutionary class of drugs called “PARP-inhibitors”, which stops damaged cells from repairing themselves.
The liquid biopsy, less invasive than a tissue biopsy, also detects early signs of resistance to olaparib and monitors the cancer’s evolution over time, according to the paper, published in Cancer Discovery on Monday.
Prof Johann de Bono, Regius professor of cancer research at the ICR, and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS foundation trust, said: “Our study identifies, for the first time, genetic changes that allow prostate cancer cells to become resistant to the precision medicine olaparib.
“From these findings, we were able to develop a powerful, three-in-one test that could in future be used to help doctors select treatment, check whether it is working and monitor the cancer in the longer term. We think it could be used to make clinical decisions about whether a PARP-inhibitor is working within as little as four to eight weeks of starting therapy.
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