When breast cancer advances, the patient doesn't have the luxury of time. Finding the right type of chemotherapy as quickly as possible is a critical factor for the patient's success and, until now, predicting the patient's sensitivity to chemotherapy has often been a shot in the dark.
“DiaTech is the only commercial pathology reference laboratory in the U.S. that works exclusively with live cancer cells and the only one that has the expertise and technology to measure drug sensitivity of specific cancer cells”
DiaTech Oncology, a privately-held life sciences and clinical pathology laboratory company in Nashville, Tenn., has developed a predictive assay test that shows significantly positive results for chemotherapy patients with recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. The Microculture Kinetic Assay, also called the MiCK® assay or Correct Chemo™, was used in a non-blinded, multi-institutional controlled trial with breast cancer patients. When the assay was used by participating physicians, patients showed higher response rates and longer times to relapse.
Detailed results of the trial were presented in an abstract on Dec. 6 at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The event, which attracts over 8,000 participants from more than 90 countries, is among the largest and most prestigious breast cancer conferences in the world.
DiaTech's patented MiCK assay measures apoptosis, or cell death, in the cancer cells of chemotherapy patients. Tumor cells are exposed to multiple doses of several chemotherapeutic drugs, either as single drugs or combinations. An algorithm monitors and computes the amount of cell death and determines a drug sensitivity "score" of the patients' tumor cells.
The assay also has recently been found to correlate with positive outcomes in patients with acute myelocytic leukemia and ovarian cancer.
Details of the abstract presented at the 2012 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium include: