Sunday, February 21, 2016
Saliva Test for Lung Cancer
A new "liquid biopsy" that can detect biomarkers of lung cancer in saliva is moving closer to becoming a reality.
This noninvasive method is able to detect circulating tumor DNA in saliva and has the potential to dramatically cut waiting time for biopsy results, as well as reduce cost and inconvenience to patients.
In a presentation given at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), David T. W. Wong, DMD, DMSc, Felix and Mildred Yip Endowed Professor and associate dean of research, School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles, discussed a new prototype of the device, called electric field–induced release and measurement (EFIRM), that is able to detect biomarkers in saliva for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The device has a high degree of accuracy in comparison with current sequencing technology, according to Dr Wong, and can assist with clinical treatment decisions involving tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in patients with NSCLC.
It is able to detect actionable EGFR mutations in NSCLC patients with 100% concordance with biopsy-based genotyping, Dr Wong said, and it can detect the most common EGFR gene mutations that are treatable with TKIs, such as gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP) or erlotinib (Tarceva, Genentech/Roche).
"The first indication for the new test will be lung cancer," Dr Wong told Medscape Medical News. "The majority of lung cancers are non–small cell lung carcinomas, in which 20% have actionable mutations in the EGFR gene that can be effectively treated with gefitinib to prolong survival of patients by 1 to 1.5 years."
Testing will not be restricted to NSCLC. "After lung cancer, any type of human cancer can be detected, as circulating tumor DNA is universal," he said. "Our finding that the ctDNA comes into saliva and that EFIRM is the technology that can detect the ctDNA with near perfect sensitivity is the perfect platform."