Biocept, Inc., a molecular diagnostics firm that commercializes and develops liquid biopsies in order to improve both treatment and detection of cancer, recently announced the launch of the FGFR1 amplification test that uses a patient’s blood as a sample, as opposed to tissue. This diagnostic test has the potential to assist physicians in more accurately identifying patients who might be receptive to specific lung and breast cancer treatments.
Studies have shown that the FGFR1 amplification is a driver for uncontrolled cell growth. Treatments targeting this pathway are being assessed in several clinical trials currently being carried out by researchers in both the breast and lung cancer fields.
“FGFR1 alterations have been identified in a number of cancers. The presence of this biomarker has historically been found in non-small cell lung cancer as well as breast cancer. However, at this year’s American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting, researchers presented findings demonstrating that this target is also present in small cell lung cancer,” noted Veena Singh who is Biocept’s Senior Medical Director.
Small cell lung cancer represents 10 to 15 percent of the total of lung cancers and an associated survival rate of 5 years,less than half of non-small cell lung cancer. Since small cell lung cancer reveal symptoms much later in comparison to non-small cell lung cancer it is diagnosed later in more advanced stages of the disease, when it is already metastasized to other regions of the body.
“The launch of FGFR1 testing is part of our strategy to use liquid biopsy to transform the field of personalized medicine. At Biocept, we help physicians monitor resistance mechanisms and identify new targets for therapy even when tumor material from a tissue biopsy is insufficient to provide results. Our ability to use a simple blood sample to identify this biomarker in the setting of metastatic cancer gives clinicians and pharmaceutical partners additional therapeutic options targeting this pathway,” concluded Raaj Trivedi from Biocept.
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