A new study found that a blood test for DNA can predict whether a woman will respond to the new drug palbociclib, when they carried out the treatment of breast cancer , months earlier than current tests.
Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research said that the test can be within two or three weeks to evaluate the fact, whether the drug is working, ie, whether the breast cancer treatment Palbotsiklibom effective. However, they warn that the results should be repeated, before they are used clinically.
The study, published today, is largely funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC). The researchers tested the women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer - the most common type - who participated in the clinical trial palbociclib for the treatment of breast cancer.
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In November 2017 Palbotsiklib (Ibrans) was approved for use in the treatment of breast cancer (progressive) in women not previously being treated.
Currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer Palbotsiklibom women have to wait two to three months to see how effective the treatment. Like many other methods medikamentozhnogo treatment to determine the effectiveness of treatment using scanning (observation of tumor size)
A new blood test, instead, aims to search for circulating tumor DNA - DNA fragments, "shed" a cancerous tumor, which entered the bloodstream. Mutations in DNA associated with cancer may be detected in these samples.
The researchers found that they could predict whether treatment palbociclib work by comparing the amount of PIK3CA gene, detected in a blood test before treatment, and 15 days after initiation of treatment. In a study of 73 women had PIK3CA mutation and blood tests before and after treatment palbociclib.
Among these women, the researchers found that those who had a slight decrease of circulating DNA PIK3CA 15 days after the start of treatment of breast cancer, had an average progression-free survival (the length of a patient's life without an increase in tumors) is only 4.1 months, compared with women with a large decrease in the PIK3CA, in which the average progression-free survival was 11.2 months.
The test can allow women in the first group, for which breast cancer treatment Palbotsiklib not proven efficiency while to get this information, which in turn will allow them to consider changing their treatment at an earlier stage.
Professor Nicholas Turner, senior author and a professor of molecular oncology at the Institute of Cancer Research, said: «Palbociclib is one of the new classes of drugs that delay the development of cancer in patients with advanced breast cancer, but like many other drugs, it is not effective for all women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The problem is that we have to wait two or three months before doing a scan to check if the therapy is working. In our new study, it was found that a blood test for circulating cancer DNA within the first two weeks of treatment indicates whether the drug is effective. The presence of an early understanding of how likely it is that treatment should work, may allow us to tailor therapies, such as some patients to switch to an alternative drug that is more likely to benefit them. "
Dr. Nathan Richardson, Head of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, said: "It is surprising to see that with advances in diagnostic methods, such as genetic testing for circulating tumor DNA, we can more accurately determine the patient groups and help decide the correctness of the chosen treatment to the patient before . This study provides early evidence that could help us understand earlier when the drug successfully treats breast cancer, and if not, you can stop and pick up more effective approaches. "
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