Correkt-Chemo – Personalize your Chemotherapy


Cancer is a name given to a collection of related diseases. Cancer can start any place in the body, starting with cells growing out of control and crowding out normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should. Cancerous tumors are malignant and they invade nearby tissues, travel to distant places in the body through the blood, forming new tumors far from the original tumors. Cancer can be treated very well for many people and can help them lead full lives.

Various therapies use medicines or drugs to treat cancer. Surgery and radiation therapy remove, kill, or damage cancer cells in a certain area, but chemotherapy can work throughout the whole body. Chemotherapy can kill cancer cells that have metastasized or spread to parts of the body far away from the primary (original) tumor. Multiple drugs with different actions can work together to kill more cancer cells. This can also reduce the chance that the cancer may become resistant to any one chemo drug.

Once a patient is diagnosed with cancer, routinely patient receives the “conventional / standard” chemotherapy regimens. These regimens are common to all patients with that particular cancer type. Such “one size fits all” approach is one of the most important reasons of treatment failure and cancer recurrence. To avoid such “trial and error” approach and to save the precious time, Correkt-chemo is a must for a successful cancer therapy management.

  • What is Correkt-chemo?

It is the only test available that identifies directly, the most effective chemotherapy drugs that can kill cancer cells. In this test, live tumor cells obtained from fresh biopsy are treated with different chemotherapy drugs and their combinations.  The effect of these drugs is studied in real time to analyze the direct efficacy of each cancer drug to kill the cancer cells. This allows oncologists to personalize and improve the treatment by selecting the best suitable drugs before starting chemotherapy.

  • How is Correkt-chemo helpful?

Not all drugs work the same on all patients. Some drugs may not prove beneficial and waste valuable time and resources at this critical point in treatment. With Correkt-chemo test, there is a way to know how effective the chemotherapy will be, before the start of treatment. It will help your oncologist choose the best chemotherapy regimen from the NCCN approved list. Correkt-chemo test directly measures the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs on your live tumor cells and provides a personalized efficacy profile of individual chemotherapy drugs. Thus instead of speculating about how effective chemotherapy will be by costly trial and error, we get that information well before beginning the therapy. It helps to identify at an early stage whether the treatment is likely to work or not and to spare patient’s the unnecessary toxicity of ineffective drugs. It helps to provide patient with the right treatment for the right target without delay.

Knowing the right chemotherapy from the very beginning is the best option. As fresh tumor sample is required, the test can be performed and results can be provided to you and your physician to aid in the determination of the best drugs for you, and you can ensure that you receive the most effective chemotherapy from all available options.

Share This:

Liquid Biopsy – A Path Breaking Weapon Against Cancer


Liquid Biopsy

As the medical field is making great advancements with regards to technology and treatments, the tests are narrowing down to more easier yet micro level. Cancer tests have also become more specific and advanced and the perfect example is Liquid Biopsy.

Liquid Biopsy is a new, non-invasive technique that detects disease biomarkers released by tumour in blood, urine or other bodily fluids. When cancer spreads,it sheds cells and DNA fragments in the blood. Datar Genetics Ltd. has developed this technique for finding cancer cells, RNA from exosomes and tumour DNA fragments in the blood. In this method, you get similar information from a simple blood test which you would have to otherwise get from a tissue sample obtained from the regular invasive biopsy. Conventional biopsies taken from tumor sites may suffer from biased results due to tumour heterogeneity whereas liquid biopsy is free from such biases.

Liquid Biopsy targets one of the following:-

  1. Free circulating nucleic acids.
  2. RNA expression and fusion transcripts.
  3. Circulating tumour cells.
  4. Multiple DNA abnormalities
  5. Tumour Emboli
  6. Insertions and deletions
  7. Trans-locations and chromosomal abnormalities
  8. Point mutations

LB2

You should consider Liquid Biopsy when:-

  1. Enough tissue cannot be obtained from the initial invasive biopsy.
  2. Cancer starts in a place that is difficult to access by surgical biopsy.
  3. Cancer spreads to brain, bone,lung or other difficult to biopsy locations.
  4. Recurrence of cancer post initial tumour removal.
  5. Patient isn’t responding to treatment the way you expect.
  6. The patient doesn’t want a repeat biopsy.

In Cancertrack – Liquid Biopsy by Datar Genetics Limited, capturing and detecting CTCs, exosomes, ctDNA and other bio-markers has an important predictive and therapeutic implication. Detection of tumor DNA has clinical utility in risk stratification in early cancer, in early detection of relapse and in monitoring the response to treatment.

This test has two types- A prognostic test may indicate the outcome and course of a disease. A predictive test suggests likely response to the particular therapy. It is also devised to screen for cancer. It will inform you about your current status of cancer and is intended to provide clinicians information on the presence of specific biomarkers in the CTCs.

The major advantage being cancer treatments getting more personalised and micro-level, Liquid Biopsy proves very helpful and indeed a boon for us.

 

Share This:

Role Of Genetics In Breast Cancer and BRCA-1 & 2 Mutations


“I know my children would never have to say- mom died of cancer!” said Angelina Jolie- famous Hollywood actress after her decision of preventive surgery for ovarian cancer where she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. BRCA mutation was found in her tests and three women in her family; including her mother had died of cancer. Thus, she had to take a preventive measure.

Genes and genetic variations in our body contribute to the bodily functions and overall health. This also includes the possibility of having various diseases which are hereditary or developed in our body due to changes in the genetic codes.

image description

Each cell in our body consists of genes that have genetic code for our body. These codes contain the information regarding various functions of our body for example – when the cells grow, divide, and die. Changes in these genetic codes are called mutations. Many of these are harmless; while some increase the risk of diseases like breast cancer. BRCA are inherited mutations; thus you need to undergo this test only once. I.e. they do not develop during our lifetime.

According to the American Journal of Human Genetics and Journal of Clinical Oncology, around 55-65% of women with confirmed BRCA mutation will develop breast cancer by the age of 70 and their immediate family members have 50% chances of possessing the same risk.
It’s not only women who are at risk; while women have 85% risk of breast cancer and 40% risk of ovarian cancer; men too have about 20% risk of prostate cancer and/ or male breast cancer.

Thus, to examine the risk of it, Datar Genetics Limited has introduced a test using NGS platform that has 99.9% analytical sensitivity and 100% specificity and accuracy. NGS means Next Generation Sequencing. It enables us to examine the genetic mutations in members of families with high incidence of cancer.

BRCA -1 & BRCA – 2 are two genes which are linked to HBOC (Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer) these genes produce tumor suppressor proteins which help to repair damaged DNA. When either of these genes have mutations, it increases the risk of cancer.

BRCA 1 & BRCA 2 testing should be considered if:-

  1. You had breast cancer at early age
  2. Your mother, sister, or daughter had breast cancer at early age or ovarian cancer.
  3. You are a woman with 1st degree relative who’s diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer before age of 50
  4. The men in your family have strong history of breast/ ovarian cancer.

Genetic testing

A doctor/ genetic counselor helps you decide whether genetic testing is appropriate for you. In most cases, test is primarily done on the person in the family who has breast cancer. If mutation is not found, other family members need not be tested.

image description
image description

The test includes counseling and a blood test and you can get the results in around two weeks.

It is very important for you to know if you are at a risk of mutation and you should ask your doctor what tests and precautions should be taken to lower the risk.

Women who have BRCA 1 gene mutation are at higher risk of triple negative breast cancer while BRCA 2 carriers have breast cancers that are Estrogen Receptor positive. BRCA 1/2 mutations increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Men with BRCA 2 mutation have increased risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Risk reduction options:-

Following are the recommended cancer screening tests:-
  1. Breast Self Examination/ Clinical Breast Exam (CBE)
  2. Mammography
  3. Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging

There are also some risk lowering options for BRCA1/2 carriers, like- FDA approved drugs and treatments like prophylactic mastectomy and prophylactic oophorectomy.

Timely examinations and preventive treatments are best way to lower the risk of breast cancer.

 

Share This: