Nearly half of all people in the Western world will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, that´s over 14 million new cases every year. Even though great improvements have been made in survival, cancer still results in 8 million deaths annually.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that a one-size-fits all approach to cancer patient management is sub-optimal as many treatments are ineffective in their approved patient setting. Indeed, it is estimated that only 1/4 of cancer patients are responsive to current treatment modalities. Ineffective treatment is not only costly but can cause adverse reactions and is responsible for >6% of acute hospital admissions.
Personalised (or precision) medicine promises to overcome many of these problems by tailoring medical treatment to match individuals. The ultimate success of personalised medicine depends upon the ability to accurately stratify patients according to their likely response to a specific medicine via detection of predictive biomarkers by companion diagnostics.
Currently nearly all cancer diagnostics are carried out directly on tumour tissue obtained by surgical biopsy techniques. Such analyses are expensive, have a long turn-around, and are unpleasant for the patient.
Blood-based non-invasive tests (liquid biopsies) are not only cheaper, quicker and more confortable for the patients, they promise to revolutionise cancer patient management, because for the first time the tests can be used to monitor the response to treatment and the progress of the cancer, with the potential to greatly improve survival.
At Indicate Solutions we are dedicated to producing enabling technologies for liquid biopsies.
At present there is only one technology, the PCR-based Cobas® system from Roche, that is FDA-appproved for liquid biopsy testing in cancer, although similar technologies and technologies based on next generation sequencing (NGS) are currently being developed by several companies. However, all of these platforms are central laboratory based, expensive and slow. For the cancer patient this means that their test results can not be acted upon until they have another clinical appointment, typically 3-4 weeks later in most public health services. This delay in potential treatment decisions can have a negative result on patient survival.
The Indicate concept promises to revolutionise cancer patient manangement by allowing the clinicians to make treatment choices during a single clinical appointment (hospital or local surgery), or even to follow the progress of their cancer within their own home.
Our initial indication will be EGFR mutation testing in lung cancer , although we have many other cancers and mutations in the pipeline